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Of the New York Conference 







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Copyright, 1889, by 


New York. 

This Bool? 


Mr. John D. Slayback, 







Christian Manliness — What is It? i 

Christian Manliness— As Tested by Poverty... 17 
Christian Manliness — As Put to the Proof in 

Public Life 36 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature 53 

Great Men in History 68 

Christian Manliness in Trial 85 

The Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manli- 
ness 98 

The Desire for Death 113 

The Identification of Divinity with Humanity. 125 
Modern Progress an Encouragement to Mis- 
sionary Zeal. . . , 135 

The Great King in Disguise 149 

The Prophetic Vision of God 158 

The Brave Choice of Moses 173 

Significant Omissions in the Preaching of Jesus. 187 

The Moral Harvest 199 

The Greatness of Jesus 214 

The Call of Abraham 233 

Law in the Spiritual Realm 243 

The Reasonableness of Immortality— 1 260 

The Reasonableness of Immortality — II 276 

The Christian Heaven 289 


Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then ? Jesus 
answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, 
and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear wit- 
ness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my 
voice. — John xviii, 37. 

In the historical drama of " Julius Caesar " the 
two principal characters among the conspirators are 
Cassius and Brutus. After the sudden and irrep- 
arable overthrow of their perilous fortunes on the 
fatal field of Philippi, they both took their own 
lives. It is not over the dead body of the design- 
ing and envious Cassius, however, but over that of 
the noble and patriotic, albeit misguided, Brutus, 
that Marc Antony speaks the well-known lines : 

" This was the noblest Roman of them all : 

All the conspirators save only he 

Did that they did in envy of great Caesar ; 

He only in a general honest thought 

And common good to all made one of them. 

His life was gentle, and the elements 

So mixed in him that Nature might stand up 

And say to all the world, 'THIS WAS A MAN.' " 

Our great Shakespeare here finely describes the 
elements of the manhood of Brutus. He was true, 
patriotic, unselfish, magnanimous, gentle — of such 

2 Christian Manliness. 

rare and admirable equipoise that Nature might 
stand up and say to all the world, " This was a 
man." The outside, apparent, physical, palpable 
victory is with Marc Antony ; the real, inside, invis- 
ible, moral victory is with Brutus. Flushed with 
success, soon to become the master of the whole 
world, Antony is constrained to step aside and pay 
high tribute to the glorious virtues of his dead foe. 
One had better be Brutus, dead yonder on the 
Philippian plain, than Marc Antony, alive in the 
arms of Cleopatra ! Death, with one's honor and 
purity untarnished, is better than life stained with 
dishonor and corrupted by lust — this is the lesson 
of history, of conscience, of philosophy, of religion. 
In what consists manliness ? That manliness, I 
mean, which enables its possessors to become rulers, 
masters, disposers of the circumstances, limitations, 
conditions, forces, fates of human life. It is clear that 
it is not in any thing obese, gross, or sensual, in any 
thing purely physical or animal ; it does not reside 
in bodily strength or agility or endurance. When 
Nelson was a boy fourteen years of age he attacked 
a polar bear with a handspike, and when he was re- 
proved for it by his captain he simply stated that 
he had never made the acquaintance of Mr. Fear. 
He was a mere shadow of a man ; he could not have 
stood before the Boston " slugger," Sullivan, two 
minutes, but in the Bay of Aboukir and at Trafalgar, 
under the solemn inspiration of duty, one Nelson 
was worth a million Sullivans. The prize-fighters, 
the athletes, the victors in the Grecian games, 

What is It? 3 

the men who won the famous laurel-leaf crowns, 
the rowers, the wrestlers, all the men who have 
come to power and conspicuity by the force of mere 
flesh or muscle or nerve — when have they ever re- 
kindled the extinguished torches of human progress? 
When have they carried out into the unknown dark- 
ness the new light ? When have they been the 
helpers of their brother-men ? When have they 
stood in the solitary outposts of liberty to herald 
the coming of the better days ? When have they 
refined, elevated, enriched civilization ? When have 
they controlled destinies ? Yonder is the great, the 
gifted, and the brilliant Alcibiades, fortunate in his 
birth, in his family, in his training, in his beauty, in 
his grace, in his eloquence, and come, too, at a time 
when Greece needs a great man ; but he is gross, 
false, sensual, fickle, corrupt, and he but precipitates 
the ruin of the land he might have saved. On the 
other hand, there is Baxter, of Kidderminster, whose 
life, as it is described by one of his biographers, 
was one continual struggle with disease, and he goes 
into the most degraded and heathenish parish in all 
England, where church-going was the exception and 
brutal prize-fighting was the rule, and in a few years 
the conditions were precisely reversed. And there 
is William of Orange, the slight, pale, feeble, wheez- 
ing, asthmatic invalid, with all the contending fac- 
tions of English politics about him, with the great 
diplomatists of the continent of Europe eagerly 
planning his overthrow ; but he holds on to life with 
an eager and tenacious grasp, and finally forms the 

4 Christian Manliness. 

mighty coalition that broke the power and humbled 
the pride of the Grand Monarque. 

Nor is Christian manliness, as here conceived, to 
be mistaken for the brilliant qualities, the high ex- 
ecutive energy, of the great soldiers of the world. 
If so, then Alexander, petulant, cruel, selfish, in- 
temperate, lustful, was a manly man ; then the first 
Duke of Marlborough, corroded by avarice, the slave 
of passion, the tool of every master, was a manly 
man ; then Napoleon, cold, pitiless, remorseless, 
with an utterly unscrupulous and remorseless am- 
bition, was a manly man. 

Our manliness is to be distinguished from mere 
talents or taste or scholarship. Erasmus had taste, 
talents, scholarship ; he was a good judge of a fine 
picture ; he was the best Greek scholar of his time; 
he could have edited the most perfect copy of the 
New Testament ; he loved brilliant society ; but it 
took a man made of sterner stuff to defy the seem- 
ingly omnipresent and irresistible power of the 
papacy. It took a plain, sturdy, rugged man, like 
Martin Luther, who knew indeed less about Greek, 
but a great deal more about God. 

Success is not manliness. Robert Walpole was 
successful in governing England for many years, 
but he did it by knowing the price of each purchas- 
able member of Parliament. He ruled England for 
a generation, but his letters and the history of the 
period reveal that the secret of his rule is to be 
found in his unerring discernment of the exact 
number of pounds sterling required to give him a 

What is It ? 5 

majority. Greatness of character is not to be con- 
founded with intellectual acuteness, penetration, or 
vigor. One may be the founder of a new, benevo- 
lent, and world-revolutionizing system of philoso- 
phy and yet be deficient in manhood. Bacon, de- 
laying the trial of causes and turning an itching 
palm to wealthy suitors, eager for the bribe, is not 
a picture of a manly man, He was, indeed, the 
" greatest, the wisest, and the meanest of mankind ! " 

Nor is genius, however splendid, a substitute for 
manhood. The world owes more to its plain, 
sturdy, plodding, duty-loving John Howards, Sam- 
uel Wilberforces, George Peabodys, and Henry 
Wilsons than to all its fierce, fitful, lurid Byrons and 
Poes. The critics may be right when they say that 
Shelley had naturally larger, finer, richer poetic pow- 
ers than our Longfellow, but while the fame of 
Shelley is narrowing, dwarfing, and dying, our 
poet has entered on a fresh, green, wide, lasting 

Manhood is not to be confounded with mere 
passivity of moral disposition. The goodness 
which is so often recommended to us, dry, jejune, 
tasteless, insipid, without aggression, without force, 
without spontaneity, without inspiration, deficient 
in courage, in electric force and contagiousness, is 
not the goodness which graces and crowns a strong 
and noble manhood. I love to read about the se- 
raphic Summerfield. Doubtless his conversation was 
in heaven ; but, as I read the history, I am re- 
minded that it took the steady, sagacious, persistent, 

6 Christian Maiiliness. 

iron-willed Francis Asbury to found in the wilds of 
this New World that Methodism which should ulti- 
mately become the dominant faith of the American 
people. Fletcher of Madeley was indeed saintly ; 
he, if any man, might honestly use the words of the 
Psalmist, and say, " Whom have I in heaven but 
thee? and whom do I desire on earth besides 
thee ? " But England in the last century required 
a type of piety more rugged, more robust, more 
aggressive, and, if I may say it without mis- 
construction, a trifle more secular — the kind of 
piety embodied in the life and work of John 
Wesley. Philip Melanchthon was gentle and 
sweet-spirited, but I have always doubted whether 
he would have publicly burned the pope's bull, 
rejected the cardinal's hat, and have stood alone in 
the Diet of Worms and defied all. the forces of the 

Christian manliness means something more than 
to be complacent and amiable ; something more 
than to keep ourselves scrupulously clean from the 
defiling touch of evil. This manliness carries with 
it the willingness to declare the truth, to defend the 
right, to suffer and to die, if need be, for the right. 
Three words, if they do not entirely describe, are 
distinctly included in, the Christian idea of manli- 
ness : courage, dutifulness, love. Neither of these 
words alone would give an adequate conception of 
the ideal manliness. Courage alone will not, for 
courage may be, and doubtless often is, the result 
simply of physical conditions, of abounding animal 

What is It? 7 

spirits. Dutifulness alone will not, for dutifulness 
may be hard, ungracious, rigid, constrained, and not 
bright, open, genial, spontaneous in expression. 
Love alone will not, for, unless tied fast to a su- 
preme sense of duty and made willing to face with 
fortitude pain, sacrifice, difficulties, and death, there 
is danger that love will evaporate in mere sentiment. 
The pilot of the Mississippi steamboat had Chris- 
tian manliness when, discovering the boat to be on 
fire, and calculating the distance to the shore, he 
stood at the wheel until he beached her, and then 
fell a blackened corpse. He had the three qualities ; 
courage, dutifulness, love. He was no scholar, no 
genius : he did not know the parts of speech ; he 
could not have told the difference between a verb 
and a noun ; his usual manner of expressing him- 
self was slangy ; he would have had an uncomfort- 
able time in a Fifth Avenue parlor — his feet and 
hands would have been very much in the way, his 
face would have been red and fiery — but in the dark- 
ness of the solemn night, as the fierce breath of the 
flames drew ever nearer, the voice of the Eternal 
was heard by him, and he nobly laid down his life 
a sacrifice for others. Twelve or thirteen years ago, 
on the coast of Scotland, seven boys went out to fish 
in a small boat, when, going suddenly to one side, 
it upset, and they found themselves struggling with 
the waves. The oldest boy, thirteen years of age, 
Alexander Sutherland, alone knew how to swim, 
and one after another he landed five of his compan- 
ions, and, returning for the sixth, he became ex- 

8 Christian Manliness. 

hausted and sank in the waves. Here is courage, 
dutifulness, love. 

" He dares and sinks and dies alone, 

With all the saved in view ; 
A Christ among the fisher lads, 

The ransom of his crew." 

You have heard of the wreck of the Birkenhead. 
The very highest Christian manliness was found in 
the men who constituted the passengers of that 
ship. The sea below them was full of sharks ; there 
were enough boats to land the women and the chil- 
dren. Captain Wright knew, and the men knew, 
that the ship could not float until the boats came 
back, and he ordered them on deck in companies, 
and told them to stand at " attention ; " and there 
they stood, never uttering a word, until the ship 
keeled over and they all went down. That was 
manliness — courage, dutifulness, love. 

The very soul of manhood is expressed by the 
words truth, genuineness, reality, sincerity. Analyze 
manhood to its final element, and what we all mean 
by it is that a man is true, genuine, sincere, real. 
How do you find it, and where do you find it? 
If a man is a tradesman, and is a manly man, there 
is no sand in his sugar, no chicory in his coffee, no 
iron filings in his tea, no water in his molasses, nor 
does he make his marmalade of turnips and treacle. 
If the butcher is a manly man, he sends to your 
house the piece of meat you bought, and not the 
inferior article you did not buy. The manly man 
keeps his contract, make or lose — yea, he swears to 

What is It? 9 

his own hurt and changes not. If he builds you a 
house it will not be of materials as cheap as can pos- 
sibly hold together, so that after it has settled you 
can neither fasten a window nor lock a door ! The 
houses he builds are built to last. The manly man 
does not put all the big strawberries on the top, and 
all the shrunken ones at the bottom of the basket. 
If he sells apples, the barrel is not topped off with 
large and choice fruit, while in the center of the 
barrel they are only fit for the cider-press. The 
manly man, if he is an exporter of wheat to foreign 
ports, does not mix enough " No. 3 Red " with 
•' No. 2 Red " to keep it within the latter grade, 
and at the same time have the advantage of the 
higher price. The manly man, even if he be a 
preacher in an interior town, will not sell to an 
ungodly buyer from New York city a lot of apples 
with a large pumpkin in the center of each barrel to 
fill up. The manly man does not sell oleomarga- 
rine for butter, neither does he manufacture his 
" best California honey " from glucose. The manly 
man is one who, if he be a large coal operator, will 
not sell a barge of slate for the best Lehigh coal ; 
nor will he show you one ticket and dexterously 
substitute another for it on the day of election. If 
the manly man is a lawyer, he will not encourage 
litigation that he may have a fee ; if he is a broker 
on the Stock Exchange, he will not invent or spread 
false reports in order that he may further his own 
speculations ; if he is a physician, he will not assume 
an attitude of owl-like gravity when there is noth- 

10 Christian Manliness. 

ing the matter with the child ; if he is a preacher, 
he will not have two creeds, one to work with before 
the people and one to think by in his study; if a 
manly man is in society, he will not be a retailer 
of cowardly slander. The manly man, wherever he 
is found, is a true man, a genuine man, a real man, 
a man who, without asking time to hide any thing 
away, can open his heart's most secret chamber to 
the angels of God any hour in the twenty-four ! 

This is the kind of men we need now. Acute- 
ness of moral perception, genuineness of moral feel- 
ing, straightness of moral purpose, soundness of 
moral fiber through and through — in these and like 
elements does manhood inhere. The true man is a 
man, and the false man is no man ; he is a two-legged 
snake that by some strange freak of evolution finds 
himself in an erect posture. Wherever there is in- 
sincerity, wherever there is equivocation, wherever 
there is evasion, wherever there is pretense, wher- 
ever there is gross sensuality, wherever there is 
falseness at the core of being — there is no manhood ; 
the serpent is there, the panther is there, the tiger 
is there, the leopard is there — the man is still an 
animal, and not a man. Manhood includes other 
gracious, winsome, and attractive qualities, but 
these constitute its life and soul. Wherever there 
is ideal manhood there will be loyalty, magnanimity, 
generosity, delicacy, courtesy. Our great President 
and greater man, Abraham Lincoln, all unconscious 
of what he did, defined Christian manliness in those 
great and ever-memorable words : " With malice 

What is It? ii 

toward none, and with charity for all, let us strive 
to do the right, as God shall give us to see the 

This Christian manliness we describe as sovereign, 
as ruling over all the elements of human life, as 
being the inspiration at last of all its progress, and 
the only ground of hope for the ages to come. It 
is so because the moral Ruler of men intended it 
to be. The reason and ground of its unique and 
imperial place is to be ascertained in its origin ; it 
is the will of God that it should be so. It is the 
child of a King. Now this manliness is not a mod- 
ern upstart usurper ; it did not spring up in a night 
like a mushroom ; it was not born yesterday. Its 
rule is ancient, legitimate, rightful ; it is a divinely 
appointed sovereign. It is not a question of fam- 
ily ; you need not look into any genealogical tables. 
You will waste your time there. The extraction of 
our heroes and heroines may not be traced in any 
peerage book. The men and women, far away from 
the world's eye, who hold themselves true to the 
simple duty known to them, through toilsome, suf- 
fering, unrequited years, at the cost of all those 
things which are grateful to the flesh, w r ho shall .de- 
scribe them ? They are fitly described in the superb 
language of Macaulay, when in the full glow of 
youthful eloquence he writes of the Puritans of the 
time of the first Charles : " If they are unacquainted 
with the works of philosophers and poets, they are 
deeply read in the oracles of God. If their names 
are not found in the registers of heralds, they are 

12 Christian Manliness. 

recorded in the Book of Life. If their steps are 
not accompanied by a splendid train of menials, le- 
gions of ministering angels have charge over. them. 
Their palaces are houses not made with hands, 
their diadems crowns of glory that shall never fade 
away. On the rich and the eloquent, on nobles and 
priests, they look down with contempt, for they 
esteem themselves rich in a more precious treasure 
and eloquent in a more sublime language — nobles 
by the right of an earlier creation, and priests by 
the imposition of a mightier hand." The hero of 
our manliness is one who, in any great crisis of his- 
tory, is equal to the hour that time has struck in 
its solemn on-goings. David is King of Israel, not 
because he is the son of Jesse, but because he can 
command the people and unify the nation in a time 
of separation, weakness, and distress. This man- 
hood does not posture itself into greatness ; it does 
not smirk itself into favor ; it does not wear blazing 
jewels to show its rank ; it does not strike theatrical 
attitudes before the people ; it does not have an 
oiled curl hanging down the forehead as a proof of 
eminent statesmanship. This kind of manhood 
rules by other than artificial and meretricious 
badges, distinctions, and signs. It has a native, in- 
trinsic, and inviolable majesty, and it rules because 
it has the ethical power to command obedience. I 
am glad that there are such gewgaws and baubles 
in the world as ivory thrones and purple robes and 
golden scepters. There are some people whom you 
would never suspect of being kings and queens if 

What is It? 13 

they were not seated on ivory thrones, if purple 
robes were not thrown around them, if golden scep- 
ters were not in their hands. Genuine manhood, 
if it condescends at all to sit on thrones, wear pur- 
ple robes, or wield scepters, does so because of its 
power to dignify these things, and the real manhood 
requires no ermine to make a judge, no gown or 
surplice to make a minister of Christ — it requires 
nothing but the sublime instinct of faith in the eter- 
nal God, and in his righteous purpose at last to 
bring forth to the view of all men the clear equities 
of the eternities ! The sovereignty of this manhood 
is universal. It reigns every-where — in the church 
and on the street, in the academy and the prison- 
house, in the Senate and the market, in the Orient 
and in the Occident ; it is superior to climate, to 
the aspects of nature, to rank, to genius, to talent, 
to wealth, to poverty, to fame, to obscurity, to suf- 
fering, to toil, to temptation, and triumphs at last 
over death. Wherever there is a soul that meekly 
bows itself in lowly reverence before the great fact 
that the moral law is the supreme law, there is a soul 
on its way to eternal power and growth. 

This is a strange prisoner here before Pilate ! 
They are calling him a king from the outside, and 
the perplexed, bewildered, time-serving Pilate says 
to him : " Art thou then a king?" and his answer 
is : " To this end was I born, and for this cause 
came I into the world, that I should bear witness 
unto the truth." Why is he there ? He is there 
because he bore witness to the truth, and for no 

14 Christian Manliness. 

other reason. He did indeed speak the truth, and 
he spoke the whole truth, and he spoke nothing but 
the truth. If he had not been born for this one 
purpose, if he had not come into the world for this 
single end, and if he had not been faithful to his 
trust, he might not have stood there at all. If he 
had cheapened the truth, if he had lowered its im- 
perative demands, if he had clipped off the sharp 
edges of the truth here and there, if he had deliv- 
ered such truth only as would have been grateful to 
the Pharisees or to the people or to the Herodians, 
he would not have been there. The people might 
have saved him, but at times he spoke such dis- 
tasteful truth to them that they turned away from 
him ; he spoke such truth to the Pharisees that they 
would not have him for their leader ; as he justified 
John the Baptist, Herod would have no pleasure in 
him ; he refused to beg for his life at the hands of 
Pilate, and so he cared nothing about him. He 
came into the world and actually was the truth ; 
that is the simple explanation, humanly speaking, 
of his marvelous life. He spoke the entire truth, 
kindly, lovingly, courageously, directly ; to the rich, 
to the poor, to the virtuous, to the unvirtuous, to 
the learned, to the unversed, to those in power and 
to their subjects, and to all of them it was ever the 
same message, that is, the simple, brave truth, and 
nothing else. That is why he is a prisoner here be- 
fore Pilate, and that is why all men who have really 
followed him have suffered, because they spoke the 
truth, the needed truth, the simple truth, the whole- 

What is It? 15 

some truth. Nevertheless he is, after all, the real 
King. Pilate ! he has gone down to utter infamy. 
The Prisoner ! he is the King of more brave, true- 
hearted, loyal souls at this hour than any Roman 
emperor ever numbered subjects. As Napoleon 
said at St. Helena, " There are more men at this 
hour who would die for Jesus Christ than ever 
would have died for Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, or 

" Every one who is of the truth heareth my 
voice." Would you hear that voice ? Cast out 
every thing that corrupts, that weakens, that stains 
and defiles you, and you will hear it. Be true, and 
you will hear it. Be true ; be true in politics, be true 
in the store, be true in the bank, be true in the fam- 
ily, be true whatever, be true wherever, you are, and 
you will hear His voice. " Every one that is of the 
truth heareth my voice." Solemn words, these ! 
Look on this truth on its reverse side : " He that 
heareth not my voice, it is because the truth is not 
in him." If the shadow of a conscious lie lies across 
your soul ; if you are meditating flight from duty ; 
if you are planning one single escape from right- 
doing ; if along the future of your life you are leav- 
ing here and there an open door for falseness and 
baseness ; if you would meanly undermine a com- 
petitor ; if you would drive a man to the wall in the 
hour of weakness ; if you are planning any low trick 
of cunning — you will not hear his voice, no, not in 
this world, nor yet in the world to come. But if the 
purpose be in your heart humbly to do right ; al- 

1 6 Christian Manliness. 

ways to do it ; lovingly to do it ; to be just and 
fear not, to be generous, to be courageous, to dare 
at all times to be simply true, above all other voices 
you will hear his voice in the holy places of your 
soul. Thus hearing him, and daily perfecting your 
obedience to him, you will go from light to light, 
from truth to truth, from strength to strength, from 
grace to grace, from virtue to virtue, from glory to 
glory, until, dropping the cerements of the flesh, 
with speed swifter than light you will rise to stand 
before him, and your life shall be eternally united 
to his life. 

As Tested by Poverty. 17 


Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave com- 
mandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe 
came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever 
thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and 
the birds of the air have nests ; but the Son of man hath not where 
to lay his head. — Matt, viii, 18-20. 

THIS incident occurred in the earlier and more 
popular portion of the Galilean ministry of Jesus. 
He had indeed been rudely and savagely rejected, 
and his life attempted by his fellow-townsmen at 
Nazareth, but in Capernaum, which from henceforth 
became his head-quarters, he had produced an im- 
mediate, deep, and, on the whole, a favorable, im- 
pression. In fact, he so profoundly moved the peo- 
ple by his words and by his miracles that they 
were frequently on the verge of a great uprising, 
threatening to make him a temporal king. This 
infectious spirit of enthusiasm in the ever-swelling 
crowd was at times so remarkable that it did not 
afford our Lord pause even for rest, solitude, and 
prayer. In one of these instances, when the eager, 
mercurial, and excited crowd thronged about him, and 
he sorely needed the refreshment of soul that could 
only come from solitude and communion with his 
Father, and he was about to cross the sea with his 

1 8 Christian Manliness. 

disciples in a boat, there came to him a certain 
scribe, a man learned in the Jewish law, who seems 
to have been suddenly taken with a fire of exuber- 
ant devotion, and he said unto him, " Master, I will 
follow thee whithersoever thou goest." It may 
have been that this was a transport of generous and 
uncalculating devotion, it may have been a sudden 
impulse, a mere flame-jet of fierce and untried zeal ; 
whatever it was, it was necessary for him to know 
what was the real nature and demands of the serv- 
ice to which the Master would lead him, and Jesus 
therefore declared to him his utter poverty: "The 
foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 
nests ; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his 
head." Do you want to follow such a man? Are 
you prepared for such a service? Are you equal 
to such a discipleship ? 

As men estimate power and influence, these words 
of Jesus must have seemed very foolish and short- 
sighted indeed. " Why," they must have said among 
themselves, " here is this scribe, versed in the law, 
having potential connections — he may be able to 
give a favorable introduction to this new teacher 
in influential quarters ; perhaps he may be able to 
present this new doctrine among the great and wise 
men who live in the city of Jerusalem, and such 
hard and unpalatable words ought not to be spoken 
to him, standing as he does on the very threshold 
of the new kingdom, and eager to enter it." But, 
with Jesus, here as elsewhere, now as always, there 
was no compromise, no lowering of the standard, 

As Tested by Poverty. 19 

no truce with the world spirit, no equivocation, no 
evasion, no hiding or obscuring of the truth. The 
man needed to understand what was involved in his 
choice, and so Jesus said to him : " I am poor; my 
life, and the life of those who company with me, is 
to be a life of stern poverty, yea, of wandering and 
homeless poverty ; I am not as well off as the beasts 
of the field and the fowls of the air: the fox has a 
hole in which he may seek security and refuge and 
rest, which is his home ; the birds of the air have 
their snug dwelling-places, their warm nests ; but as 
for me, there is no place that I dare call my own ; 
the Son of man hath not where to lay J lis head." 

We see here the perfect Man in poverty, the per- 
fect Man in actual poverty, rising superior to the 
malign elements, the limitations and stings of that 
state ; and this raises for us the fruitful theme of 
Christian manliness in poverty. Let us consider 
some of the difficulties, the besetments, the hinder- 
ances, the tests interposed by poverty in the devel- 
opment of an ideal manhood. There is danger to 
a lofty Christian manliness in the false, and I fear 
the growing, idea (growing certainly in some por- 
tions of American society) that poverty is a neces- 
sary shame and an inherent disgrace, a token and a 
badge of social dishonor. There is indeed dishon- 
orable poverty, disgraceful poverty, poverty of 
which a true man may be justly ashamed — a poverty 
that is the fruit of idleness, a poverty that is the 
result of vice, a poverty that is the result of laziness ; 
there is no intrinsic honor, no inherent virtue, in 

20 Cliristian Manliness. 

a poverty which is the result either of laziness, or 
of vice, or of shiftlessness. But where poverty is 
not the retributive issue of dissipation, or idleness, 
or crime ; where, by no act of folly or wastefulness, 
by no course of carelessness, no sin or crime of our 
own, poverty comes to us by causes over which we 
have absolutely no control — as where we are born 
to it — then there is nothing in poverty intrinsically 
disgraceful or shameful. So far from this, there is 
a poverty that comes to men sometimes that is the 
immediate occasion or reason for that splendid 
forth-putting of irresistible energy which first brings 
to real men a regal sense of themselves. When, 
however, a youth begins to look upon poverty as a 
badge of shame, as a token of social disgrace, he at 
once opens every gate of his soul to the entrance 
of the enemy, to all manner of temptations — the 
temptation to evasion, to pretense, to seeming, to 
concealment, to equivocation, to falsehood — and the 
perils of his situation will soon appear. In his en- 
deavor to associate with those whose means are far 
beyond his own, and where he must necessarily — if 
he means to dress as they do, if he means to have such 
amusements as they have, if he means to mingle in 
such pleasures as they do — he must necessarily be 
encouraging dishonest thoughts and secretly medi- 
tating crooked courses; for neither his income, nor 
his wardrobe, nor his business, nor his prospects, 
nor any thing in his present circumstances will jus- 
tify him in attempting to live beyond his means. 
Woe to the young men who, regarding poverty as 

As Tested by Poverty. 21 

a shame and a disgrace, are striving to wear such 
clothes, to mingle with such people, to go into that 
kind of society where it will soon become necessary 
for them to lie and steal in order to keep up ap- 

He who would preserve his manhood in poverty 
must have a serene faith and an invincible cour- 
age. Poverty, especially to certain men, to men 
with a certain order or balance of faculty, moral and 
intellectua. suggests doubts of the absolute equity 
of God's moral rule over the world and men. It 
may be in earlier years, it may be at a time when 
poverty pinches closely and sharply ; but, however 
brought about, there can be no doubt that some men 
endowed with a high degree of thinking power, 
born in such poverty, do come sooner or later to 
the place where they will at least wonder why they 
were born so empty and poor, and so many weak, 
useless, incapable, undeserving people were born 
rich. And when this wonder grows into doubt, and 
this doubt is allowed to remain with us, when we 
harbor it, when we feed it, when we nurse it, when we 
strengthen it, when we allow it to smother energy 
and truth, when we begin to adopt practically, without 
knowing the meaning of the word, the philosophy 
of pessimism — that every thing is bad, and going to 
the bad — then poverty is acting like moral poison. 
My young friends, I would be entirely frank with 
you. There are a great many things here we do 
not understand. I have sent many puzzling ques- 
tions, as well as many dear friends, into the other 

22 Christian Manliness. 

life. I fear not to leave to him who is our Father 
any question that is too hard for me. Life, with 
work and trust, is ever so much better than slow 
death from the poison of a swarm of stinging inter- 
rogation points. We must never allow ourselves to 
doubt that at the center of the universe is absolute 
equity. Come whatever doubts may, come what- 
ever hardships may, no matter how much we are 
puzzled by things on which, with our feeble thought- 
power, we can throw no revealing light — we must 
always believe that at the center of the universe 
there is eternal rectitude. We must believe that, 
or we shall die of heart-break. Whatever happens 
to us, however dark the day, however leaden the 
sky, however heavy the burden, however long and 
lonely the night, however bitter the disciplines 
through which we must pass, we must believe that 
the Judge of all the earth will at last, somehow, 
somewhere, do right to all his children. 

If we mean to carry our manhood uncorrupted 
through the state of poverty, we will need also to 
be brave men ; not cowardly men, not men who 
will shrink, not men who will flee the battle. We 
need to have the rare quality called moral courage, 
and, above all, we must not rail at the world. Do 
not sit down in the ashes and wail and mourn and 
lament. What business have we, sons of God in 
disguise, awaiting the hour of our disclosure, to 
sit down by the " poisoned springs of life, waiting 
for the morrow that shall free us from the strife?" 

I know that the world looks dark to some of you, 

As Tested by Poverty. 23 

but I know also that the men who bravely front it, 
and fear not to look it full in the face, and fight it, 
will find that it is not such a bad world after all. 
Do not imitate the man who, because of repeated 
disappointments, fell into the habit of railing at the 
world, and finally declared that, if he had been a 
hatter, he was sure men would have been born 
without heads. We all need to buy a new diction- 
ary, and, if possible, I hope every one of you will 
get a copy of the same edition General Grant is 
said to have had when he was a boy ; the one in 
which, as he told his father once, he could not find 
the word " can't." I am informed that this was the 
copy he took with him through the war, and I am 
half inclined to believe it. The man who says, " I 
can't," confesses and brands himself a coward. With 
his own hand he burns the brand deep in his own 
flesh. Don't ! 

There is a flood of temptations assailing Chris- 
tian manliness coming in from another quarter, 
especially when bright young men suddenly find 
themselves in poverty, without friends, and with no 
immediate prospect of pecuniary independence. 
These may be described by the general statement 
that they are slyly and plausibly solicited to rely 
upon smartness, upon cunning tricks, upon sharp 
dealings, upon brilliant strokes, rather than upon 
quiet, steady, solid, faithful, honest, hard work. 
This class of temptations is peculiarly insinuating 
to those who have a quick, facile, and showy under- 
standing, and have never learned to work. God 

24 Christian Manliness. 

pity the young man with an alert brain who does 
not know how to do something with his hands ! Is 
it unfashionable ? Then let me be forever out of 
style. I am a follower in this matter of the old 
Jewish rabbis who declared, " He who raises his son 
without a trade raises him to be a thief." In the 
complex conditions of modern life, especially in 
great cities, the young man who reaches his ma- 
jority not having learned to work, that is, not hav- 
ing learned to do something which the world really 
needs, and to do that something well — I do not 
mean now merely a mechanical craft, although it 
would be a great blessing if more of our young men 
were mechanics — I mean something the world must 
have done by somebody. I say that the young man 
who has reached his majority and cannot do some- 
thing in this sense is in a weak, helpless, and most 
pitiable condition. I declare that he who has not 
yet learned the value of industry, he who is study- 
ing to be an adventurer, a moral gambler, a game- 
ster, a sharp speculator — the young man who is 
planning and scheming to live on his wits without 
work — is on his way to the penitentiary. In nine 
cases out of ten, if the laws are enforced, that is 
precisely where he will land. Remember that for 
every honest fortune suddenly made, a hundred fort- 
unes are slowly made ; remember that in times of 
commercial crash the sudden fortunes almost always 
go first, and the slowly built fortunes weather the 
storm ; remember that for every man who makes a 
great and sudden success there is sure to be a para- 

As Jested by Poverty. 25 

graph in the newspapers, while the same newspapers 
make little account of quiet, patient worth and 
honest industry ; remember that the lasting reputa- 
tions in every department of professional activity 
are the slowly built, solid reputations ; remember 
that when God means to bless men by riches he 
does it as he blesses the earth by rain. The gentle 
rain, continued through days, penetrates the soil 
and soaks the roots ; the sudden, dashing rain only 
moistens the surface of the ground. Beware of the 
wealth that comes like a dashing storm ! It will 
never reach the roots of your being. 

Christian manliness is menaced also by the temp- 
tation to believe that happiness, growth, strength, 
are to be sought and found rather in what men 
have than in what men are. There is no mistake 
among young men more wide-spread, none more 
fatal, none more false, than the belief that what 
men have constitutes happiness, growth, strength ; 
and there is nothing more demoralizing. There 
are a great many young men who are saying to 
themselves, " If I lived in that house over there, if 
I just had that man's income, I would be happy." 
There are a great many foolish young men who 
think that Mr. Vanderbilt sleeps ten hours out of 
the twenty-four, while, if the truth were known, 
there are few men in America who sleep fewer 
hours, sleep less lightly and less refreshingly. The 
idea that wealth is an unmixed blessing is a mistake. 
Wealth once acquired must be kept, and how diffi- 
cult that is let them describe who have tried ! 

26 C hrisi tan Manliness. 

When a man gets a fortune, at once all sorts of peo- 
ple want to know him ; he has more friends than he 
ever dreamed of before ; he has more subscription 
papers thrust under his eyes than ever before, and 
he must indeed be glib of tongue and quick of hand 
and fleet of foot to escape the one half of them ; 
that is the time when all of his relatives, near and 
remote, and all his wife's relatives, near and remote, 
are anxious to establish close family relations ; that 
is the time when a man's life is fairly badgered and 
worried out of him by people who have no sort of 
claim upon him. This idea that heaven consists in 
possessing wealth ! My friends, my friends, we 
carry hell or heaven about with us in our own 
breasts, and we will never find it any place else ; it 
is not outside of us, and it never will be. I speak 
with reverence, but God himself could not put a 
good man in hell ; there is no hell for the good 
man — you cannot conceive of one ; he would make 
what you call hell a heaven. I repeat it : There is 
no hell for the good man. 

One day when our Lord was teaching, and a 
great crowd of people were gathered about him, 
suddenly his discourse was interrupted by a man 
who came out of the crowd and said, " Master, 
speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance 
with me." He was a man who supposed that if he 
could once secure an equitable division of his father's 
estate all his troubles would at once disappear, 
all his wrongs would be righted, and henceforth 
the world would be just about what it ought to be. 

As Tested by Poverty. 27 

So he came to Jesus, but Jesus refused to have any 
thing to do with him. He never interfered in any 
personal, political, or domestic difficulties. I do 
not now recall a single instance of his having done 
so. He looked at him and said, " Man, who made 
me a judge or divider over you?" Then he turned 
from the man to the great crowd, and said, " Take 
heed and beware of covetousness " (that is, beware 
of greed for money), " for a man's life " (his true 
life, his real life) " consisteth not in the abundance 
of the things which he possesseth." Then he spoke 
the parable of the rich man whose grounds brought 
forth plentifully, and he tore down his old, rickety 
barns, and built new barns, which he filled to over- 
flowing, and then, seating himself on a large easy 
chair, he stroked himself with great satisfaction, and 
said to himself, " Soul, eat, drink, and be merry ; 
thou hast much goods laid up for many years." He 
had scarcely finished his soliloquy when quick 
through the silent night came the awful voice of 
God: " Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be re- 
quired of thee ; then whose shall those things be 
which thou hast provided ? So is every one that is 
not rich toward God." 

Are these obstacles surmountable ? Are these 
difficulties removable? Are these temptations con- 
querable? Do you know of any man or men who 
have stood in poverty, beset by temptations like 
these, and kept their manhood uncorrupted ? About 
seventy-five years ago, far away in the granite hills 
of New Hampshire, a little tow-headed boy had a 

28 Christian Manliness. 

hard time of it wading through the snow-drifts two 
and three feet deep to the rude school-house. His 
parents lived in a rough, unpainted, one-story frame 
house, and what little he really learned he acquired 
from his wise and intelligent mother, a woman who 
filled his memory and fired his imagination with the 
thrilling stories of the Scotch-Irish settlement in 
the north of Ireland. One Monday morning at 
sunrise a strange experience came into this boy's 
life, for the sheriff and the chief creditor of his 
father came, and as they knocked at the front 
door his father disappeared at the rear door, and 
was invisible the remainder of the day; then the 
creditor and the sheriff began to seize on the goods 
in the presence of the family, until finally a friend 
and neighbor came and took them away in a wagon 
from the scene of their sorrow and shame. Then 
they tried it in Vermont, and they had a hard time 
of it there, and at fifteen years of age he had to go 
to Poultney to learn the printing trade, where he 
indentured himself for five years. His father could 
not make things go in Vermont, and so he con^ 
eluded to go out into the western part of New York, 
and hew himself a home out of the virgin forest. 
The boy walked twelve miles out from Poultney to 
say good-bye ; and although they had had hard 
times together he would have been quite willing to 
have gone with them (if his mother had asked him) 
but for one reason — that is, he would not break 
faith with his employer. So he said good-bye to 
them, and walked back to Poultney. He said it 

As Tested by Poverty. 29 

was the slowest and saddest walk of his life, and we 
may well believe him. He stayed there until he had 
learned his trade, and then he went west and helped 
his father chop the trees, occasionally working at 
his trade. Finally, when he had fifty dollars, he 
thought it was time to go to New York, so he di- 
vided the fifty dollars, giving his father twenty-five 
and keeping twenty-five himself. He walked to Al- 
bany, and came down from there on the boat. 
After landing, he walked up to the corner of Wall 
and Broad Streets, and entered a boarding-house, 
where they told him the price of board was six dol- 
lars a week. He said, " I can't afford to pay that " 
(there are not a great many young men nowadays 
who are not able to pay any price for board), so he 
walked about until he found a boarding-house on 
West Street where he could live for two dollars and 
a half a week. It was not an inviting place ; they 
sold liquor below, but he was a teetotaler, and they 
gave him fair bread and butter, and he stayed there. 
He started in business several times, and failed sev- 
eral times, but always paid his debts. He made 
several publishing ventures, and finally on a day of 
" most unseasonable chill and sleet and snow," in 
the year 1 841, some newsboys cried out, "Nezv 
York Tribune, one cent a copy ! " Then began the 
great work of his life, and for more than thirty years 
he formed and directed public opinion. He did 
not find out what public opinion was and then re- 
cord it, but he created public opinion ; he molded 
it, gave it impulse and direction, and at last met the 

30 Christian Manliness. 

fate of many of the world's great men, being hound- 
ed and hunted to death chiefly by men whose power 
and publicity he had made possible. He died an 
uncrowned king, but the tears of a nation were his 
monument. And this is the triumph of manhood 
over poverty in the life of Horace Greeley in Amer- 
ica in the nineteenth century. 

It is not true in the North only. About sixty- 
five years ago, in the South, there was an orphan 
in Georgia who was poor, but bright, acquisitive, 
full of mental eagerness, and the Georgia Educa- 
tional Society heard about him, and sent him to 
school, and he went through college. He was grad- 
uated, and the most remarkable thing about his 
early career was that as soon as he earned the money 
he paid back to the Georgia Educational Society 
what they had loaned him. That is more than 
some young preachers have done — paid back to the 
eleemosynary and other societies the funds loaned 
them to procure collegiate and seminary training. 
He began to practice law, and he did what, in that 
section of the country, meant a good deal more than 
it ever did in this section of the country — he swept 
his own office, he built his own fires, he blacked his 
own boots, and he managed to live on six dollars a 
month. When his first important case came on he 
went to the county-seat to try it, and, finding that 
he did not have sufficient means to go to the hotel 
where the other lawyers were stopping, he arranged 
his toilet in the woods outside of the town, his 
horse tied to a tree. His toilet made, he went in 

As Tested by Poverty. 31 

and won the suit. He saved up money until he 
bought back the homestead which his father had 
lost. He did good as opportunity afforded, taking 
more than fifty young men from the common school 
and helping them through college, paying the entire 
expenses of twenty young men of unusual promise. 
I never saw him but once — a poor, feeble, broken- 
down, attenuated old man, with the stigma upon 
him of having been a conspicuous leader of an un- 
successful rebellion, rolled about in the House of 
Representatives in his invalid chair ; but when, in 
that thin, shrill, piping voice, he said, " Mr. Speaker, 
Mr. Speaker," James A. Garfield and other Repub- 
lican leaders ran down the aisle to hear what Alex- 
ander H. Stephens had to say. Essential manliness 
knows no North, no South, no circumstances, no 
conditions. Wherever it finds itself in the world, it 
fights its battles and wins its victories. 

Nor these alone, for there are many in humble 
life who have fought life's battle and won ; whose 
names are not recorded in human history, albeit they 
are recorded in that Book where nothing: good or 
great or noble is ever forgotten. There once was a 
boy in a printing-office, an apprentice, and the boys 
in the shop said he was penurious, mean, niggardly, 
because he would not take part in their " treats." 
If they wanted beer, to use the phraseology of that 
shop, he would not " chip in ; " if they wanted ice- 
cream, he would not contribute any thing to the ex- 
pense. They thought it was mean and contempti- 
ble, and they followed him one day and saw him go 

32 Christian Manliness. 

into a cheap bakery and buy some bread, and they 
followed him up-stairs where there was an old, fee- 
ble mother and a blind sister, and then they knew 
that the stuff was in him out of which you make 
heroes. Hugh Miller said of the master-mason to 
whom he was apprenticed that " he never laid a 
stone without putting his conscience into it." That 
man was a hero ! Poor, are you ? And do you 
know how many great men have been poor? Paul, 
the apostle to the Gentiles, was poor and a tent- 
maker ; Hildebrand, the great ecclesiastical states- 
man, afterward Gregory VII., the greatest of the 
popes, was poor ; Martin Luther was the son of a 
North Saxon miner, and poor. Have you heard of 
Jeremy Taylor, whose pen dropped gold, and of 
Sir Richard Arkwright, the inventor of the spinning- 
jenny, and of Turner, the great landscape-painter? 
They all graduated from the barber-shop. Poor, 
are you ? Shakespeare's father was a grazier, and 
Cardinal Wolsey's was a butcher ; Ben Jonson 
worked with a trowel in his hand and a book in his 
pocket. Poor, are you ? Faraday was apprenticed 
to a bookbinder until he was twenty-two years of 
age ; Sir William Herschel began life as a hautboy- 
player in a regimental band ; Claude Lorraine, the 
great French landscape-painter, was first an appren- 
tice to a pastry cook ; John Bunyan was a tinker; 
Copernicus was the son of a Polish baker ; Richard 
Cobden was a London warehouse boy, whose mas- 
ters told him not to waste too much time in read- 
ing. Poor, are you ? Do you know that Ben 

As Tested by Poverty. 33 

Franklin was the son of a Boston tallow-chandler? 
And Patrick Henry, by whose fiery and resistless 
eloquence Virginia was swept into the tide of the 
Revolution, was poor ; and William Henry Harrison 
was poor; and Henry Wilson was poor; and Abra- 
ham Lincoln was poor ; and James A. Garfield was 
poor. Empty this church of the men who were 
poor first, and it could not sustain itself as a second- 
rate mission-chapel ! Empty New York of the men 
who were first poor, and you would paralyze its 
greatest enterprises ! Poor, are you ? Poverty 
means to the man who has the genuine material in 
him out of which men are made, the opportunity to 
force victory from apparent defeat, and despite 
obscurity and ill-health and lack of friends, and the 
great world's stony indifference, to fight his way to 
the front. 

" The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air 
have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to 
lay his head." The poverty of Jesus was not 
feigned ; it was real, actual. I do not understand 
how so many people can believe in the New Testa- 
ment and interpret it in the way they do. If I 
thought these words were feigned, that they were 
words of simulation, it would take the very heart 
out of them for me. If these words are to be taken 
in an accommodated sense, as many people seem 
to believe ; if Jesus was not really poor, and sim- 
ply pretended that he was, why, then, away with 
him ! If the tears he wept were dramatic tears, he 
is no helper to me when mine flow like rain. His 

34 Christian Manliness. 

poverty was real as his sorrow was real, it was real 
as his loneliness was real, it was real as his betrayal 
by friends was real, it was as real as any act or ex- 
perience of that marvelous divine life in the 
flesh ! It was not a seeming, fictitious, theatrical 
poverty, it was a real poverty, the genuine poverty 
of One who deliberately chose it, of One who, 
" being rich, for our sakes became poor." And 
when he chose poverty it was an actual, straitening, 
pinching poverty ; and therefore I say that he is in 
full and gracious sympathy with all who are in pov- 
erty and are struggling to be manly. " Forasmuch 
as his brethren partook of flesh and blood, he also 
himself likewise took part of the same." He was 
tempted (tested) in all points, just as we are being 
tested daily. Therefore I present him to you as your 
Captain, your Leader, your Brother, your Friend, 
in every effort to maintain manhood in poverty, 
loneliness, discouragement, and depression. Do not 
be a whiner. Do not be a murmurer. Do not be 
an adventurer. Do not be a sneak. Do not nomi- 
nate and elect yourself as a martyr. Do not rail at 
the world. Up and at it ! Do your best ! You 
can fight, and you can, if need be, die trying to be 
dutiful, loving, true. And Jesus will help you to 
win the fight. Obey him, follow him, enlist under 
his banner. He has never led a soldier anywhere to 
permanent loss and defeat. Who would fear to 
trust himself to a Pilot who in every sort of craft, 
in every stress of weather, had safely sailed in every 
sea? He comes from the highest Heaven, our glo- 

As Tested by Poverty. 35 

rious Captain, first being made in all things like 
unto his brethren, and lo ! he marches out into the 
" open field of the great world, carrying the victo- 
rious standard which shall never go back." Believe 
him, obey him, trust him, and he will conduct you 
to eternal triumph and honor and power. 

36 CJiristian Manliness. 


When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and 
take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into 
a mountain himself alone. — John vi, 15. 

I AM to speak to you to-night of Manhood in 
Public Life. In this country, with our popular 
methods of political action, with the very air itself 
instinct with the spirit of democracy, under our 
elastic forms of social and political action, every 
citizen, at some time or other in the course of his 
life, must expect to be called to the performance of 
some public duties. In fact, every time we cast a 
ballot we have entered public life. The casting of 
a ballot, under a political system such as ours, is not 
a private act ; it is an act that has a certain and 
more or less intimate relation to the common weal, 
and our ballot stands for our opinion as to the right 
policies or the right men required for the duties of 
the time. Every man who is worthily a holder and 
exerciser of the right of suffrage is by so much a 
public man, being bound to think not only of his 
personal welfare and protection, but of the security 
and happiness of all who are joined with him in this 
political society. We have in this country, happily, 
no hereditary ruling class, no established Church, no 
privileged office-holding class, and I wish I could 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 37 

say no chartered monopolies, but, alas ! I cannot ; 
and such are the conditions of public life, such is 
the nature of our political institutions, that their 
gifts, their honors, their emoluments, their powers 
are open to all who are pleased to strive for them. 
It is the duty, therefore, of every citizen of a repre- 
sentative republic to prepare himself, as far as in 
him lies, to respond to such calls as may be made 
on him by his fellow-citizens, so that he may serve 
the State with capacity, fidelity, and honor. It is 
the more necessary to say these things because one 
of the dangers of the day is the lurking belief that 
between high character, and especially high charac- 
ter in the religious sense, and political or public life 
there is necessary incompatibility. So far as this 
opinion still obtains it is a dangerous opinion. I 
am quite sure that it largely obtained in the com- 
munity in which I grew up, and especially among 
the religious portion of the community. To such 
an extent did it prevail that, while it was thought 
that a man might be a lawyer and get to heaven, it 
was almost universally believed that a man could 
not be a politician and get to heaven. It was 
thought necessary, in order to attain any eminence 
in religious character, that one should separate him- 
self from the profession of the law, and certainly 
from any kind of active participation in public af- 
fairs. Such teaching has not been confined to pro- 
vincial villages. The eminent Dr. Dewey, deliver- 
ing some profound lectures before the Lowell Insti- 
tute, made a digression to call upon some eminent 

33 Christian Manliness, 

member of the legal profession to rescue his profes- 
sion from the unjust reproaches that had fallen upon 
it as being unfriendly to the development of high 

All this is a part of the luggage that Protestant- 
ism brought with it when it moved out from Rome ; 
for we did not escape whole — we brought out with 
us a good many things that belonged to the Egyp- 
tians. We brought with us — and we have not yet 
fully escaped its thralldom — the mediaeval ecclesias- 
tical idea that life is to be divided into two parts, 
one called secular and the other religious ; a distinc- 
tion nowhere recognized in the New Testament, 
and entirely foreign to the whole spirit of the life 
and teachings of Jesus Christ. The attempt to 
make one day religious and another secular, to make 
one building sacred and another secular, to make 
one act holy and another secular, is a part and par- 
cel of that system of mediaevalism from which we 
have not wholly escaped. There can be no secular 
days to a truly religious man, for the consecration 
of any day depends upon the consecration of the 
man, and wherever there is present the ruling divine 
Spirit, all days are religious, all buildings are conse- 
crated, all acts are noble. There must, therefore, 
come to men more and more this great truth of life, 
that, so far from there being any incompatibility 
between high character and political action, Christ 
meant to develop and perfect the type of char- 
acter to which he calls us, IN the world, and not 
out of the world. 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 39 

If additional justification be needed for the topic 
of the evening, it may be found in the undeniable 
and discouraging fact that on the part of many edu- 
cated, refined, and virtuous persons in the commu- 
nity there is a startling indifference to, sometimes 
an almost criminal neglect of, their civic duties. 
Those of you who have at any recent period attended 
any political conventions must have been surprised, 
first at the men who were there, and next at the 
men who were not there. If ever you have made 
a study of how these cities are governed, and most 
other American cities, if ever you have made a study 
of those who practically control the politics of this 
country in the large centers of population, you are 
aware of the fact of which the men who are trying 
to purify the politics of our cities have long been 
painfully aware ; namely, that while on the one hand 
the ignorant, the venal, the corrupt, the debased are 
swift to avail themselves of all political privileges, 
the classes who are criminal in the neglect of their 
political duties are generally those most competent, 
intellectually and morally, to perform the same. 
It can no longer be doubted that in the majority of 
the great cities of America the saloon, its influence 
and agents, stands for a mightier power in munici- 
pal affairs than the churches and the school-houses. 
The statistics that have been gathered, the observa- 
tions made by men free from narrowness, bigotry, 
and prejudice, show conclusively that the saloon, 
and that for which it stands, is exercising more 
power in our large cities than all the churches and 

40 Christian Manliness. 

school-houses combined. What does this mean ? 
It means that in these cities, at least, we are hasten- 
ing to a government of the worst ; it means, unless 
the evil be speedily corrected, the death of such 
political institutions as we now have, for such insti- 
tutions cannot long survive if the government is 
practically in the hands of the worst element in the 

I will not longer delay, in passing, to unfold or 
discuss the peculiar perils of public life in such a 
democratic community as ours ; they are sufficiently 
indicated by such words as sycophancy, cowardice, 
insincerity, demagogy, trickery, deceitful handling 
of the truth, venality, envy, selfishness, flattery, and, 
above all, the worship of the new and popular god 
called " Success." 

It is possible for men to enter and remain in pub- 
lic life, and have sterling manliness. One night, in 
the city of London, when John Stuart Mill was ad- 
dressing an audience of working-men, desiring their 
votes to return him to Parliament, a man arose and 
interrupted him, holding a book in his hand, and 
asked Mr. Mill if he had not at such a time pub- 
lished a certain book in which he used the follow- 
ing language, in substance ; namely, That one 
marked characteristic of the workmen of that part 
of the city of London was lying. " Now, Mr. Mill," 
said the inquirer, " did you write this ? " And John 
Stuart Mill, straightening himself up to his full 
height, looking full in the face the men whose votes 
were to decide the question, calmly and quietly an- 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 41 

swered, " I did." How many men in America would 
first bring such a charge against the electors, and 
then, when the time came to answer for it, on the 
very eve of election, nobly confess that they had 
made the charge, and offer no word of cowardly 
apology for their statement ? During the long and 
famous controversy in the State of Massachusetts 
that finally sent Charles Sumner to the United 
States Senate, he was again and again solicited by 
over-anxious friends to make his appearance at the 
capitol, and at least to shake hands with some of 
the electors, but he quietly and persistently refused 
to go near the place or to have any dealings, di- 
rectly or indirectly, with the men who were to de- 
termine the question. He never stooped to solicit 
votes to seat him in the United States Senate. 
Think of it ! Men used to be elected to the United 
States Senate on account of their superior intelli- 
gence and pure character without any personal solici- 
tation of votes ! Yes, it is true, incredulous as it may 
sound to some of you. Alas! that class of senators 
is nearly gone ! And when this man reached the 
United States Senate they had great difficulty to 
classify him, because he refused to commit himself 
to any party, to any convention, to any junta, and 
when it was proposed by some one in the Senate to 
give him proper recognition on the committees, Mr. 
Jefferson Davis, a senator from Mississippi, rose 
and objected on the ground that the senator from 
Massachusetts was outside of all healthy political 

42 Christian Manliness. 

In some respects the greatest name in English 
politics and English literature in the last century 
was Edmund Burke. He carried into politics two 
forces not always found there — genius and con- 
science. He loved the right ; he had a simple faith 
in it ; he served it ; he would not do it violence. 
When the city of Bristol, in 1774, made him their 
representative in Parliament the gentleman who was 
chosen before him, with hasty and indecent subserv- 
ience, assured the Bristol merchants that he would be 
delighted always to carry out their mandates. Burke, 
following him, took occasion to tell the Bristol elect- 
ors that he would carry out their mandates only so 
far as they were approved by his conscience and 
judgment. It happened that in 1778 a measure 
came up in Parliament to relax slightly the hitherto 
atrocious fiscal policy of England toward Ireland. 
All the great commercial communities were inter- 
ested in it, and the Bristol merchants came to Burke 
with theis urgent pleas, beseeching him to vote 
against the bill ; but he was superior to British greed, 
and plainly told them that he saw no reason why 
the grasping policy of England toward Ireland 
should any longer be pursued. In the same year 
it was proposed to repeal some of the iniquitous 
acts against the Roman Catholics, whereupon the 
religious zealots were aroused, and they sent a dep- 
utation to Burke to oppose any such liberal meas- 
ure ; but as he was for humanity in dealing with Ire- 
land so he was for toleration to the Catholics, and 
bravely voted to repeal the iniquitous laws. And 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 43 

then they discovered that he had been bred at St. 
Mary's, that he was a papist in disguise, and that in 
all human probability he was a Jesuit ! Is it any 
wonder that Edmund Burke, with his clear appre- 
hension of the right, and his fiery and glowing de- 
votion to it, with his absolute faith in the final 
supremacy of ethical forces, joined to his magnifi- 
cent powers, should become the master of the most 
superb and commanding eloquence? 

In the early part of this century there was a man 
in England who, in some respects, was to English 
politics and literature what Burke had been in the 
last century. Both Macaulay and Burke were men 
of genius ; they both loved literature and the " still 
air of delightful studies ; " they both had the faith 
of the right, and both obeyed it. When Macaulay 
was thirty-two years of age, standing as a parlia- 
mentary candidate for Leeds, the electors of that city 
demanded of him certain pledges. In reply he wrote 
them the famous letter, which concludes as follows : 
" It is not necessary to my happiness that I should 
sit in Parliament, but it is necessaiy to my happiness 
that I should possess, in Parliament or out of Par- 
liament, the consciousness of having done what is 
right." Three times he represented the great city 
of Edinburgh in the House of Commons. In the 
year 1847 a most disgraceful and grotesque combi- 
nation of religious bigots and whisky-dealers was 
formed to defeat him, and the combination was suc- 
cessful. The religious bigots were opposed to him 
on the ground that he had voted to grant public 

44 Christian Manliness. 

money to Maynooth College, and Macaulay's de- 
fense was that so long as public money was to be 
granted to any religious institutions, and Roman 
Catholics continued to be British subjects, he would 
vote for such appropriations of public money to 
these institutions as seemed to him just and proper, 
whether they were under the control of Protestants 
or Catholics. The whisky-dealers wanted the tax 
on whisky reduced, and they sent a deputation to 
ask him to do something for them. His reply was, 
" Gentlemen, I can do nothing for you, and the 
probabilities are I will do something against you." 
The whisky-dealers and the religious bigots joined 
hands to leave at home England's greatest historian 
and essayist. In five years Edinburgh came to her- 
self, got her senses back again, and sent him to Par- 
liament without his appearing at the polls. It was 
this same Macaulay who denied himself to pay his 
father's debts; who would not go to India, at a sal- 
ary of ten thousand pounds a year, unless his fav- 
orite sister, Hannah, would accompany him, and 
who, after a great speech in Parliament, stood cool, 
unmoved, and impassive, the center of an admiring 
and applauding crowd, but in whose eyes were the 
quick tears when he read the congratulatory note 
of his sister and niece. 

And have we no such men in America? It has 
pleased God, in his wise and good providence, to 
give to this nation within the last quarter of a century 
a most sovereign man, a man whom Plutarch would 
have been delighted to have had for a hero, a man 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 45 

whose name is one of the ten or twelve really great 
names that will survive all times and civilizations, 
and that man is Abraham Lincoln ! The whole 
spirit of his life is disclosed by their use of him 
when a young man on the western frontier. Fond 
of out-door athletic sports, he never could have his 
full share in any of the conflicts, races, or games, 
because his comrades were perpetually choosing 
him for umpire. He was too just a judge to be 
permitted to act as champion. It was Lincoln who 
wrote, and well would it be for all men if they 
could truthfully write the same words : " I never 
willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom." It 
was Lincoln who so fairly stated the other side to 
the jury that his clients feared he would concede 
away their causes. It was Lincoln who said : " Cer- 
tainly the negro is not our equal in color, and per- 
haps not in many other respects ; still, in his right 
to put into his own mouth the bread that he earns 
with his own hands, I suppose that he is equal to 
any other man, black or white." It was Lincoln 
who, in a dark and stormy hour, wrote these words : 
" Let us hold fast the faith that right makes might, 
and in that faith let us dare to do our duty to the 
end as we understand it." Why, these are words 
that will be quoted thousands of years hence ! 
These axiomatic statements, these pithy proverbs, 
these wonderful sayings of Abraham Lincoln are 
henceforth a part of the imperishable literature of 
mankind. They are rich with the condensed ethical 
wisdom of the world. It was Lincoln who steadily 

46 Christian Manliness. 

refused to recede from the ground taken in the 
Emancipation Proclamation. There are some peo- 
ple who pretend to have discovered that Abraham 
Lincoln was not orthodox, on the ground, as is al- 
leged, that he denied the doctrine of future punish- 
ment. Lincoln once gave his consent to the doc- 
trine of future punishment in a direct, practical way, 
quite strong enough to satisfy me. Certain men 
came to him and proposed that he should return to 
slavery some black soldiers, and thus conciliate the 
South. " There have been men base enough to 
propose to me to return to slavery our black war- 
riors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the 
respect of the masters they fought. Should I do 
so, I should deserve to be damned in time and eter- 
nity. Come what will, I will keep my faith with 
friend and foe." Have you forgotten his patience? 
Have you forgotten his sympathy with the suffer- 
ing? Have you forgotten his faith in the people? 
Have you forgotten his fatherly tenderness of dis- 
position toward the private soldier boy ? Have you 
forgotten his calm reliance on the vitality and in- 
vincibility of moral forces ? Abraham Lincoln, the 
rough, unpolished diamond of the West, the man 
who did what neither Sumner, nor Chase, nor Sew- 
ard, nor Greeley could have done : hold the heart of 
the whole nation to himself in the sublime convic- 
tion that he would never fail to do the right as fast 
and as far as he saw it, nor ever permit malice to 
enter his great heart ! Forget him ? Never! And 
never, so long as the sun holds his place, and the 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 47 

stars keep their courses, if we but remember him, 
and follow in his ways, need we despair of the Re- 
public, for the soil whence he sprang is rich enough 
to produce other heroes, who, in times of darkness 
and danger, shall rescue the nation. 

Will some one ask how far this is removed from 
the spirit of Jesus? That depends on how far you are 
yourself removed from the monastery ! If your idea 
of purity, virtue, religion, is a monastic idea, you 
cannot, of course, see any moral connection between 
these truths and the spirit of Jesus ; but if your idea 
of virtue is that it is a strong, hardy, vigorous plant, 
growing, not in the hot-house, but in the bright, 
fresh, pure air of heaven, you will not miss the con- 
nection. Jesus was a public man. From the time 
of his rejection by his fellow-townsmen of Nazareth, 
he never had a home. He had really no private or 
domestic life after his public work began. The 
foxes had holes, and the birds of the air had their 
nests, but he had not where to lay his head. The 
first temptation that assaulted Jesus as regards his 
public life was to be impatient. When he said 
to his mother at twelve years of age, " Wist ye not 
that I must be about my Father's business?" what 
does it mean but that the fore-glimpses of his public 
life were already dawning upon him ? Nevertheless, 
he went down to Nazareth and remained subject 
unto them for eighteen years. Great is the mystery 
of his being ! I stand before it with increasing rev- 
erence and awe ! More and more do I call him my 
God in the flesh, but during those eighteen silent 

48 Christian Manliness. 

years, as he grew to manhood, and to a sense of the 
supreme Divinity within, he learned what every 
Christ-like man must learn — to be quiet and patient. 
He knew what the temptation was to become the 
leader of a class. The poor gathered about him in 
great numbers ; he was friendly to them, he felt 
their wrongs, and sympathized deeply with them, 
but he never became a leader of the poor. We feel 
that it is irreverent to compare Henry George in 
his championship of the poor with the attitude of 
Jesus to the poor. The poor of the world have 
never had such a friend as Jesus of Nazareth, but 
he never for one moment was betrayed into any 
thought of mere partisan leadership. He must also 
have been tempted to ingratiate himself with the 
great and powerful. We know, in fact, that it could 
not have been otherwise ; but he silently pushed 
away the temptation. We know that he was 
tempted at one point in his life by a close friend, 
Peter, to adopt the spirit of the world rather than 
the spirit of the cross, as a means for the establish- 
ment of his kingdom. In the region of Cesarea 
Philippi, when Jesus announced his approaching 
death at Jerusalem, and began to unfold the final 
scene, Peter took him to one side and rebuked him, 
saying : " This shall not be unto thee." What was 
it that Jesus said in reply ? " Thou savorest not 
the things that be of God, but the things that be 
of men." It was a direct temptation to rely for the 
success of his kingdom upon human policy and in- 
stitutions, upon external agencies, upon education, 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 49 

literature and art, upon any thing save the cross, 
but he distinctly said, " No, Peter, I choose the way 
of the cross ! " The reason why it is all so myste- 
rious to us — the great reason why we do not pene- 
trate the interior ranges of his truth better than we 
do — is because so few of us in our own lives are 
seeking to perfect ourselves by carrying his cross in 
his spirit. 

He deliberately disclaimed all other sources of 
influence and of power, and went to his cross. He 
must have been strongly tempted to an extravagant 
and intemperate use of the peculiar supernatural 
powers that resided in him. You are surprised, 
some of you, that he raised three persons from the 
dead, and I am surprised, remembering who he was, 
that he did not raise hundreds of thousands from 
the dead. Surprised that he healed a leper? Are 
you not rather surprised that he did not heal all 
lepers? Have you never, in the wide sympathy of 
your own throbbing heart, wondered why God ever 
permitted a single sigh ? Have you never, in the 
loneliness of your life, wondered why God did not 
cut his work short in righteousness ? And when 
God's Son was here, with power to still the sea, 
to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, lan- 
guage to the dumb, to make the lame man leap as 
a hart, to raise the dead — why did he not employ 
his power to make a perfect world ? The reserved 
use, the sober, temperate, moral use of the peculiar 
powers of Divinity resident in him constitutes, to 
those who are without bias and prepossession, one 

50 Christian Manliness. 

of the most remarkable and convincing proofs that 
he was the eternal Son of God. 

Dj you believe that when the New Testament 
says that Jesus " hungered " he really was hungry ? 
, Do you believe that when it says that Jesus endured 
the ills of human life he really suffered them ? Do 
you not believe that it was acted ? Are there not 
here those who explain away the glorious reality of 
this divine life ? Do you really believe that he was 
tempted to be a leader of the poor, to be popular 
with the great, and that he refused these tempta- 
tions ? That he was tempted to use his power 
showily and extravagantly, and that he rejected the 
temptation ? The majority of people, as they read 
the New Testament, seem to me to resolve it into 
a tissue of fictions. The Christ of many people 
seems to be a dramatic Christ ; one who simply 
acted a part on the stage, not one who was really 
in the world, and lived and suffered and was 
tempted as men and women now live and suffer 
and are tempted. Do you believe the declaration 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that he suffered, be- 
ing tempted ? Do you believe that the heavens 
now hold One who actually suffered in his tempta- 
tions ? Jesus was a public man, and was assaulted 
at the points where every public man is assaulted, 
and won his victory there by obedience to the will 
of his righteous Father. 

Some young man here, contemplating a public 
career, has been soliloquizing with himself, and has 
about reached this conclusion : 4 ' Well, for my pur- 

As Put to the Proof in Public Life. 5 1 

poses, for my plan of life, for my ambitions, relig- 
ion is not really a necessity ; I am strong and 
healthy, I have a good education, I mean to write 
books or edit a paper or enter upon the practice of 
the legal profession, with a view to politics. In 
some way or other I mean to serve the State in a 
public capacity, and, so far as I am concerned, I do 
not need religion — it would rather be in the way. 
Probably there would be times and occasions when 
it would be seriously inconvenient to have too much 
religion ; it might frustrate and destroy all my 
plans. Now, if I was weak and sickly, if I came of 
a consumptive family, if I was a woman, I would 
be religious ; but as I am going to be a public man, 
to be a leader of my fellow-men, I will wait for my 
religion until the doctor tells me that there is not 
more than an hour and a half left, and then, of 
course, some kind of preparation must be made for 
the next world." O, vain young man ! O, foolish 
young man ! O, presumptuous young man ! Re- 
ligion is a necessity, even to you, and you will find 
it an inspiration, a constant stimulus and help. 
Gladstone's religion has never been inconvenient 
to him, Washington's religion was never inconven- 
ient to him, Henry Wilson's religion was never in- 
convenient to him, Garfield's religion was never 
inconvenient to him, Benjamin Harrison's religion 
was never inconvenient to him. You can win any 
prize that can fairly be won, you can fill any hon- 
orable position for which you find yourself fitted, 
you can wield any noble form of influence which 

52 Christian Manliness. 

you covet, and at the same time keep your soul 
unspotted from the world under the leadership of 
Jesus Christ. We need a race of public men who 
are afraid to do wrong ; we need a race of public 
men who love the right ; we need a generation of 
public men who have faith in the final supremacy 
of right ; we need a generation of public men who 
will recognize their brotherhood with Jesus Christ, 
and by the presence and inspiration of his Spirit 
walk in his footsteps, even if, as in his case, the 
path of duty should lead to the cross. Manliness 
in public life after the manner of Jesus — herein may 
the God of our fathers make and keep us strong ! 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 5 3 


Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they mi»;ht 
entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disci- 
ples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art 
true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for 
any man : for thou regardest not the person of men. — Matt. 
xxii, 15, 16. 

Literature is the written record of the inner 
life of a people. It is the hived-up wisdom, the 
concentrated light and sweetness, of many genera- 
tions of men. It is, as has been said by one who 
is himself a master of literature, " the best thoughts 
of the best minds through many generations." It 
is the thought-product of the clearest, most pene- 
trating, and most sympathetic insight of the natures 
most rarely and richly endowed. It is an account 
or reflex of the life of a people, not simply of their 
rulers, political or ecclesiastical ; not of the doings 
of the court or the legislature ; not a recital of the 
great events of war, diplomacy, or finance, but what 
the people thought and felt and did. Neither is it 
the expression or picture of the external, physical 
conditions of the life of the people. You have not 
given a true account of a man when you have told 
how high he is, what the color of his hair is, what 
food he eats, and what kind of a house he lives in. 

54 Christian Manliness. 

The deepest and best part of every man's life, and 
of every nation's life, is inner, silent, invisible. 
Suppose we could preserve and reproduce with 
fidelity the material conditions of life exactly as 
they existed in England, say five hundred years 
ago. By literature we are enabled to do this for the 
real, inner, soul-life of a people. Literature is the 
attempt to express, in one form or another, in his- 
tory, oration, poem, drama, or fiction, the deep in- 
ner life of a great people. There is required for 
the accomplishment of this task the supreme qual- 
ity which we describe by the word " genius," and 
genius is good sense, quick sympathy, patient labor, 
clear insight, the capacity to think naturally, spon- 
taneously, powerfully, fruitfully. Genius lights its 
own fires. 

The spirit of Christian manliness discloses its 
presence and power in literature in many ways. 
It does it, in the first place, by its superiority 
to the peculiar temptations which present them- 
selves to the qualities of the mind required to cre- 
ate, inspire, and mold a literature. If it be given 
to those who aspire to create a literature to see far- 
ther into the reality of life, the truth of things, than 
other men, it is also required of them that they 
truly and faithfully report back what they see. 
The temptation is always present to bring back a 
distorted report, or a partial report, or an untrue 
report, and therein manhood, as it appears in litera- 
ture and has its battle to fight there, must bring 
back, must describe what actually exists, and not 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 55 

what an aberrant or eccentric genius thinks should 
be there. A genuine, honest report from the depths 
of human life is required of the genius that would 
assert its claim to manhood in the highest realms of 
intellectual activity. Manliness in literature must 
conform to its own hi^h and glowing ideals, and it 
must give us, not what we indolently wish, but 
what we clearly need, for our soul's health. It must 
have the clear insight necessary to discern between 
the idle want and the spiritual need, and the cour- 
age to show us the latter. 

Genius must also, in the realm of literature, show 
itself to be courageous in the presence of difficulties. 
Genius may find itself poor, but poverty affords no 
sufficient ground for the flight of genius from its 
difficult and lonely duties. One may find himself 
slenderly equipped in this world's goods not only, 
but his lot and work cast in a political society in 
which birth and rank and wealth take precedence 
of capacity, virtue, and worth. But genius, if it be 
true to the noble ideals of a lofty spiritual man- 
hood, must not yield to these adverse elements, but 
in all its efforts to describe and paint the thought- 
life of a people rise gloriously superior to all that 
is narrowing, cramping, and confining. 

Genius in literature, indeed in every realm in 
which it works, but here especially, must not only 
acknowledge in general terms the law of moral ob- 
ligation, but must confess the gradations of that 
law, its intensification, its increasing stringency, in 
proportion to the greatness of one's light, oppor- 

56 Christian Manliness. 

tunity, and gifts. Genius — that is, opulence of in- 
tellectual endowment — instead of being an excuse 
for falseness, cruelty, and immorality, creates addi- 
tional obligation, multiplies and sharpens the rea- 
sons for a higher morality and a purer spirituality 
on the part of the gifted man. " For unto whom- 
soever much is given, of him shall much be re- 

The three elements heretofore defined as entering 
into Christian manliness and constituting its very 
life appear here ; namely, courage, dutifulness, love. 
Following our course on preceding evenings, let us 
take some practical illustration of what we mean by 
this. When, in the year 1826, the American writer 
and scholar, William H. Prescott, found himself in 
practical possession of the material necessary to 
write his history of the reign of Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella he lost his eyesight, and had no prospect of 
ever again recovering it. This was a serious dis- 
couragement and difficulty, and one apparently in- 
surmountable, but it was not to conquer the man 
who had consecrated himself to write the history of 
that great time. He was not appalled ; nor was he 
more than temporarily discouraged. He first hired 
a reader, and sat in a darkened room listening for 
hours to a man who knew no modern language but 
the Spanish ; and thus he worked his way through 
several venerable quartos until he was satisfied of 
the feasibility of his task. After a time, discharging 
the reader, he dictated to a more competent man, 
and worked on as best he could until, by " the 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 57 

blessing of Providence," to use his own words, his 
eyes recovered sufficient strength to allow him to 
use them, and, by working a limited number of 
hours each day, he gradually surmounted all these 
difficulties, and enriched American literature with 
that delightful and fascinating history. The loss of 
eyesight by this gifted man only proved to be an 
occasion for the victorious assertion of the finer and 
nobler qualities of his character. 

William Wordsworth declared that he was not so 
much called as consecrated ; that he was not certain 
that he had ever made any vows for himself, but he 
was sure that somebody had made vows for him, 
and " he felt himself a consecrated spirit." His 
mission — what did he feel it to be ? That he should 
leave the crowded towns and go to the country, 
where he could find green grass and hills and lakes 
and mountains, and live a simple and uncorrupt 
life ; that he should patiently and reverently study 
his own heart and the hearts of the plain people 
about him ; so living, that he should write simple 
and natural poetry, and he declared that he had a 
vocation to do this ; that almighty God had conse- 
crated him to that work. When, after some years, 
he failed to receive any public recognition, and his 
friends and the members of his family, especially his 
brothers, were restless because of this lack of appre- 
ciation, he said, " Make yourselves at rest concerning 
me ; I speak the truths whose power the world must 
feel at last." In eight years not a single edition of 
his early poems could be sold in the English market. 

53 Christian Manliness. 

When Cottle, a bookseller in Bristol, conveyed his 
property to the Messrs. Longman, of London, the 
only volume marked on the inventory as worth 
"nil" was a book containing "The Ancient Mar- 
iner," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the lines of 
Wordsworth on " Revisiting Tintern Abbey." He 
waited, and worked, and thought, and walked by the 
side of the mountain streamlet, and looked into the 
open faces of the mountain children, and talked to 
the peasant in the fields, and watched the procession 
of the clouds in the sky, and listened to the storm- 
winds, and kept his soul open to all the voices of 
God. He educated a generation to appreciate his 
poetry, and all natural poetry. At last they sent for 
him at Oxford, and in the ancient theater of that 
splendid university, in the presence of more than 
three thousand people, clad in a scarlet robe, Oxford 
honored itself by conferring upon him its honorary 
degree. A little later Sir Robert Peel, the Prime 
Minister of England, extended to him the laureate- 
ship of England. What a change since the time 
when Byron sneered at him, and the Edinburgh Re- 
view threatened to crush him ! He had fought his 
fight and won his battle, and the world was made to 
feel the power and reality of the truths he had' to 
utter. He was true to his early and consecrated 
ideal of life and poetry; he waited, like our own 
Emerson, for the world to come round to him, in- 
stead of running round after the world. 

In 1825, Sir Walter Scott was at the height of his 
splendid fame. He had given to the world his great 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 59 

works of poetry, and had delighted it with his mas- 
terpieces of fiction. His farm on the banks of the 
Tweed, at first scarcely a hundred acres, had grown 
to be a large estate. The plain dwelling, with its 
two spare bedrooms, had expanded to the ample 
proportions of a noble baronial castle. Here he 
lived in affluence, splendor, joy. In the morning 
he wrote, not under the spur and lash, not chafed 
and fretted, but according to the free inspirations 
of his glorious genius. Then dinner with his friends 
(and his house was always full of them), and in the 
afternoon society and recreation. It has been said 
that no mansion in Europe for so long a term of 
years so hospitably and graciously entertained so 
large a number of distinguished guests. In 1826 
the printing-house of Ballantyne, in Edinburgh, 
in which he was largely interested, failed, and it 
seemed as though he was hopelessly involved. He 
was humbled before the great world that had so 
long admired and praised and honored him. He 
was covered with debt, well-nigh beggared. There 
were those, versed in the law, who advised him that, 
by resorting to certain legal stratagems, he could 
escape the claims of his creditors. See his manhood ! 
He refuses to be dealt with as an ordinary bankrupt. 
He thrusts aside the legal temptation with noble 
scorn, not having learned the modern idea of escap- 
ing a moral obligation by a legal trick. Hear him : 
"Give me time, and I will pay all." Then began 
the fearful struggle. He leaves his invalid wife and 
his splendid home, goes to Edinburgh, hires small 

60 Christian Manliness. 

lodgings, and writes to pay his debts. From his 
fertile brain and unresting hands comes book after 
book, until in a few years the mountain of debt be- 
gins sensibly to diminish. And when at last his 
brain gave way, and they took him to Italy in the 
vain hope of restoring his health, in the wanderings 
of his great mind he still kept murmuring about 
paying the debt, and after his death it was found 
that he had worked hard enough to pay every pound 
of it. Did he die? Do such men really die? Does 
the blatant infidelity of this time tell me that such 
men go out in utter oblivion? Is extinction the 
appointed doom of a great soul like this? Then 
God is dead, and life is a lie. Such men must mas- 
ter death, or there is no moral order in the universe. 
I heartily rejoice that all the stories about the 
immoral youth of " gentle Will Shakespeare " have 
at last been exploded, and that he, the greatest of 
all the writers in our English tongue, has been 
found at last, by a most eminent authority on En- 
glish literature, to have lived a dutiful, clean, sweet, 
wholesome life. Married at eighteen to a woman 
eight years his senior, at twenty-two years of age his 
father was threatened with imprisonment for debt ; 
the next year he was arrested, and he who was once 
a bailiff is now haunted by bailiffs. His father's 
family was large, and the son had a wife and three 
children to provide for, so he went up to London 
for work. At what he worked in the six years that 
followed his arrival in that city not much is known. 
This much is known : that he worked his way man- 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 61 

fully to the front ; that as soon as he began to pros- 
per his father was remembered by having a good 
allowance settled upon him ; that Ann Hathaway 
and his children were moved to the best house on 
the main street of Stratford ; that William Shakes- 
peare visited them year after year ; that he was the 
first man in the history of English literature ever 
known to have saved a single cent out of his earn- 
ings as an author, and that, having acquired a fair 
competency, he returned to Stratford to live and 
die with his wife and children, and father and 
mother. This is the true record of the private life 
of the great poet. No man can doubt the moral 
health of Shakespeare who, with open eye and un- 
prejudiced mind, has studied his writings. Where 
does he give security to wrong-doing ? Does he 
not in every drama conduct us at last to the tri- 
umph of righteousness? Does he not strengthen 
for us the ethical foundations of life? Where does 
sin stain as on the pages of Shakespeare ? Where 
is conscience armed with such terrific power? 
Where is retribution so just, so certain, so over- 
whelming ? 

The spirit of Jesus is present in all sound and en- 
during literature. The spirit of Jesus, I say; not 
his name, necessarily, nor is it well that it should be. 
Reverence in literature is no more betokened by 
the frequent use of the name of Jesus than superior 
piety is indicated by a constant use of that word in 
ordinary conversation. Where genuine reverence 
exists names are sparingly used ; but more and more 

62 Christian Manliness. 

the spirit of Jesus pervades all healthy, wholesome, 
inspiring literature. How do you detect its pres- 
ence? Have you ever read a book that distinctly 
lowered your moral tone? His spirit was not there. 
Have you ever read an essay, or a poem, or a novel 
— have you ever read any thing anywhere — that 
glossed over the eternal distinction between right 
and wrong? The spirit of Jesus was not in it. Have 
you ever, after reading a book, risen from it with a 
cold, a contemptuous and cynical view of man ? The 
spirit of Jesus was not in it. Have you ever read a 
book that seemed to take all spiritual glow from off 
the land and the sea, and from the great infinite 
blue above? The spirit of Jesus was not there, for 
his presence and spirit consecrate and hallow all 
things. Have you ever, as the result of your read- 
ing, felt that your faith was withering, that the invis- 
ible, eternal realities were becoming dim, vague, un- 
real? The spirit of Jesus was not there. When- 
ever you have read a book, whether the writer was 
regular or irregular, pronounced orthodox or heter- 
odox by those who assume to make these distinc- 
tions ; whenever you have read a book that has made 
you reverence men and women and children more, 
deepened your love for liberty and truth and pur- 
ity, increased your power of moral discrimination, 
augmented moral energy ; whenever you have read 
a book that made God more real and potent, a pres- 
ent strength and solace, a book that made you strong 
in the abiding faith that death would not shatter 
and destroy man, but be to him a translation and 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 63 

a coronation, then you have read a book instinct 
with the very spirit of Jesus; and this spirit is the 
life of literature. Where it is absent the literature 
hastens to decay, where it is present the literature 
is assured of immortality. 

Every great literature has its distinctive charac- 
teristics. If a people be dreamy, subtle, patient, 
contemplative, their literature will partake of these 
elements. Such is the character of the Hindu mind, 
and such is the character of the Hindu literature. 
If a people be light, airy, gay, given to pleasure, 
their literature will be light, airy, gay, and it will 
apotheosize pleasure. The French people are such 
a people, and the French people have produced 
such a literature. If a people be reflective, given 
to inquiry into the reason of things, acute, pene- 
trating, painstaking, philosophic, then you will find 
a solid, massive literature, dealing with the greatest 
problems in the most earnest, thorough, and rever- 
ent way. Such a people are the Germans, and such 
is the literature of the Fatherland. The distinctive 
characteristic of English literature is its moral vigor, 
its moral sanity, its moral wholesomeness and sweet- 
ness. There are spots on the sun, but that which 
marks off the English from all other literatures is 
its sense of duty to be done. It is not deficient in 
other qualities. In fancy, in satire and wit, in fire 
and energy and strength, in boldness of imagination, 
in passion and pathos, in splendor and majesty of 
expression, in a certain lofty, resounding eloquence, 
it is a literature worthy of the immortality to which 

64 Cliristian Manliness. 

it seems destined. These qualities, however, do not 
constitute its peculiar power, its crowning glory. 
The true glory of the literature of England has 
been well expressed by one who says that it " rep- 
resents a people striving through successive genera- 
tions to find out the right and do it, to root out 
the wrong, and labor ever onward for the love of 
God." The English still believe, and have always 
believed, that to fear God and keep his command- 
ments was the whole duty of man. Hence the 
moral robustness of their literature ; hence their 
hatred of wrong and injustice, and their noble de- 
votion to liberty and law. 

Their earliest poet, Caedmon, had the fear of God 
before his eyes, and sang of God, and of duty to 
God, in the first great English hymn. The sweet 
and gentle Aldhelm, as early as the seventh century, 
testified, to the English sense of duty by taking his 
stand on the bridge between the town and country, 
and singing a song to keep the people from running 
home from church directly after mass, without wait- 
ing for the sermon. The Venerable Bede, the first 
of English prose writers, died praying, and dictating 
to one of his students a new translation of the gos- 
pel of John into English. The wise and good King 
Alfred, by his translation of the Consolations of 
Boethius, confessed that we men need inward 
strengthening as well as outward comfort. The 
scene of the Decameron of Boccaccio is laid in a 
beautiful garden, not far from the plague-stricken 
city of Florence, and his characters while away the 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 65 

time by telling witty and disgusting stories while 
their friends are smitten with the plague. That is, 
his characters are represented as running away from 
their duty. The pilgrims of Chaucer's Canterbury 
Tales are on their way to the shrine of Thomas a 
Becket, and, with their light in that age, that to 
them was a service of duty. The Utopia of Sir 
Thomas More was a dream of moral excellence and 
spiritual beauty, rather than of physical comfort 
and political progress. In his songs and his ro- 
mance of Arcadia, in his life and in his death, Sir 
Philip Sidney acknowledged and obeyed the high 
behests of duty. The Faery Queen of Spenser is 
simply a magnificent poetic exaltation of holiness, 
justice, chastity, temperance, and friendship. Where, 
in all literature, is there any thing comparable with 
Shakespeare's awful descriptions of the power of an 
awakened conscience? In the guilty terror of Mac- 
beth, in the sleep-walking of Lady Macbeth, in the 
ghosts that troubled the dreams of Richard the 
night before the battle of Bosworth Field, and bid 
him despair and die, in the baffled prayer of Clau- 
dius, in the tragic revenge of Hamlet, in all his 
mighty dramas, the lesson is ever the same : 

" Be just and fear not : 
Let all the ends thou aimest at be thy country's, 
Thy God's, and truth's ; then, if thou fall'st, 
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr." 

There is no sickly sentiment in Shakespeare. The 
wrong-doer hastens on to an inevitable and awlul 
fate. There is no safety but in righteousness. Mil- 

66 Christian Manliness. 

ton's whole life was a nobis psalm of duty, and 
every line he wrote testifies to his loyalty to the 
highest right he knew. When old and poor and 
blind and deserted, he did not " bate a jot of heart 
or hope," but he still bore up, and steered right on- 
ward. The purity of Addison's style is equaled ]py 
the purity of his heart, and the delicacy of his wit 
is surpassed by the delicacy of his moral percep- 
tions. Old Dr. Johnson was perpetually teaching 
that men must do right if they would be happy. 
The poetry of Wordsworth has for its chief end the 
exaltation of the humble duties of every-day life 
and work. Macaulay does not allow his admira- 
tion for Bacon, the philosopher, to obscure his per- 
ception of the moral obliquity of Bacon, the judge. 
Wrong is wrong - , even if Bacon commits it. Ten- 
nyson sings to the men who are doubters to-day 
that it is only by unfaltering devotion to duty that 
they may hope to enter into light and peace. To 
hate falseness, to fight shams, to get the evil out of 
our hearts and out of the world, to be true, honest, 
faithful, earnest, sincere —this is the teaching and 
preaching of the much-misunderstood sage of Chel- 
sea. A sense of God, of our capacity to know him, 
of our ability to obey him, of our happiness if we do 
so, of our misery if we follow the devices of our 
own hearts, in short, the supremacy of conscience, 
the sovereignty of duty — this it is which has made 
the English people great and the English literature 

American literature is not unworthy of its high 

Jesus and the Great Masters of Literature. 67 

descent. It, too, sings the songs of duty and right. 
Its voice is not that of a siren. It charms to invig- 
orate and strengthen, not to debilitate and destroy. 
It is full of moral vigor and health. It is clean, 
wholesome, inspiring. Its masters have ever been 
the servants, not the hirelings, of truth. Whittier 
and Longfellow and Holmes and Bryant and Haw- 
thorne and Emerson and Prescott and Irving and 
Lowell and Curtis and Holland have all the same 
lesson to teach — we must obey God if we would be- 
come and remain strong, wise, and free. I covet 
for the creators and guides of our literature all rare 
gifts of genius, all wealth of fancy, all wisdom of 
thought, all fire of eloquence, all felicity of expres- 
sion, but chiefly do I pray that they, and all writers 
every-where, may never fail to teach that wrong at 
last shall be overtaken and punished, and right 
shall be eternally triumphant. The ultimate sover- 
eignty in literature belongs to manhood ! 

6S Christian Manliness. 


For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of 
the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the 
world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he 
that doeth the will of God abideth forever.— I John ii, 16, 17. 

The history of man on this globe has hitherto 
been largely that of an animal ; he has lived in the 
realm of the present, the physical, the seen, and the 
temporal. The immediate, not the remote, the 
present, not the future, that which solicits him now, 
the food that his eyes, and his ears, and his mouth, 
and his stomach crave — these things, and not the 
opening up, the enrichment, and the satisfaction of 
his reasoning faculties, his moral sentiments, and 
his spiritual capacities; the things that are present, 
palpable, physical — food, lands, dress, houses, mon- 
ey, empire — in these elements, and along these lines, 
man has hitherto been largely content to have his 
life. It is a sad reflection that the majority of men 
live in that realm still. I am not a phrenologist, 
certainly not a practical phrenologist, but I see 
many men whose heads and necks greatly belie 
them if they are not thralled by the physical and 
animal elements of their natures ; many men in whom 
"the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and 
the pride of life " make up the whole existence. 
How narrow, dwarfed, shriveled is the spirit-life of 

Great Men in History. 69 

most men ! There is reason to fear that many so- 
called religious people, stripped of all their present 
secular activities and physical enjoyments, would 
find themselves at a loss for congenial occupation. 
What would you do if you did not have to make 
your bread and butter? How would ycu spend 
your time? In what direction would your energies 
seek vent ? Suppose you did not have to work ten 
or twelve hours to morrow, what would you do? 
When men sit down seriously to reflect upon how 
short the distance is that measures the length of 
our journey away from the animal, it is rather a so- 
bering thought. Consider this one fact : that the 
most glittering prizes of the most enlightened and 
civilized states of the Christian world are still given 
to great soldiers. France gave the best she had to 
Napoleon ; there was nothing England had which she 
withheld from Wellington ; there was nothing that 
we had which we withheld from Grant ; we were on 
the very verge of violating the unwritten tradition 
against a third term, in order to heap still greater 
honors upon him. A great soldier (stripped of all 
honeyed phraseology) means a man who has been 
pre-eminently successful in killing his fellow-men. 
Of course we disguise it by fine talk about liberty 
and progress, and self-defense as the first law of nat- 
ure, and a great many other high-sounding phrases, 
but, stripped of all these thin veils and outer wrap- 
pings, a great soldier simply means the man who 
can most successfully kill in the shortest possible 
time the greatest number of his fellow-men ; and 

/O Christian Manliness. 

that kind of a man has within his grasp the most 
solid, splendid, and enduring guerdons which may be 
bestowed upon him by the most highly civilized 
states. It is as Gibbon has said, in substance, in 
his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the de- 
stroyers of mankind have been esteemed its greatest 
benefactors, and have received its greatest honors. 

How great a part cunning has played in the 
world ! In recent times we have called it " diplo- 
macy," but diplomacy for thousands of years meant 
a match game of cunning : the greatest deceiver, the 
man who could tell the biggest and most plausible lie 
and make it to appear so like the truth as to ensnare 
his antagonist was the best diplomatist. Diplomacy 
for many centuries was simply a game of cunning, 
and the man who was the most foxy won the victory. 

What a part greed has played in the world ! By 
greed I mean covetousness; an inordinate and con- 
suming desire for wealth. How strong is the pas- 
sion for possession! The "yellow" fever, how it 
has burned in the veins of men ! The greatest 
peril of the republic at this hour springs from the 
selfish and corrupt use of money. The United 
States Senate is very rapidly becoming a plutocratic 
body. I do not know how many Senators are there 
now who are supposed to represent the various 
Pacific railroads. We read of men representing this 
railroad and that railroad, this corporation and that 
corporation, this important interest and the other 
important interest ; and if the Legislatures should 
select another group of senators such as they have 

Great Men in History. 7 1 

elected for a number of years, we shall have made 
our Senate a plutocratic body — a body of patricians, 
founded not upon blood, not upon brains, not upon 
character, but upon the power of " money in poli- 
tics." Consider how much a lucrative office in New 
York costs, according to the testimony of the men 
who are familiar with the " assessments " made upon 
candidates by the various "halls" and ''bosses" 
who control this great city. Go back three thou- 
sand years, before there had been given to the world 
any of the refining and spiritualizing influences 
which spring from a pure Christianity, and what 
must the great soldier have been then? Is it any 
wonder that men bowed down and worshiped him 
and made him a god ? We almost do it now. Is 
it any wonder that in those early times the strong 
or the cunning man ruled the tribe? Is it any 
wonder that wealth had such corrupting and de- 
bauching power? 

Have you ever remarked how potent was the in- 
fluence of commanding talent or genius, without 
any regard to its moral character? We may ad- 
mire the work of. the men who have made the can- 
vas breathe, and the marble speak, and the flowing 
numbers entrance the nations, but it will not always 
do to look too closely into their lives. Not seldom 
their rank offenses have smelt to heaven. Jesus 
said, " the first shall be last, and the last shall be 
first." I recall a circumstance which deeply im- 
pressed this truth on my mind. I was called to 
the funeral of a godly woman, one who had lived 

*]2 Christian Manliness. 

a modest, humble, dutiful life. There was nothing 
in the morning papers about her life or death. 
There was something in them as to who should be 
Marshal of northern Alabama ; there was a good 
deal on district representation ; there was a good 
deal about where the next National Democratic 
Convention should be held ; there was the usual 
full account of burglaries, defalcations, divorces, and 
murders; but, of course, not one word about this 
woman's life of toil and duty and beauty. A good 
many years ago she found herself with five boys, 
the oldest not twelve years, the youngest sixteen 
days old, face to face with the world, in poverty 
to feed and clothe them, to teach them the lessons 
of truth, purity, and wisdom. It was a long and 
severe struggle, away from the world's applauding 
eye, but she did her work well. As I sat in the 
ferry-boat, I did not see any public building draped 
in mourning; I heard neither boom of cannon nor 
roll of drum ; I beheld no external indication that 
this brave and earnest life had come to an end. 
And yet she succeeded ; her life was a glorious 
success. When is a life a success ? When we do 
well what God sent us here to do. Garfield suc- 
ceeded when General Buell sent him with twenty- 
five hundred men into south-western Kentucky, to 
drive out Humphrey Marshall with five thousand. 
He did the work he had been sent to do, and they 
made him a brigadier-general. This woman did 
what God had appointed her to do, and by so do- 
ing she glorified him on the earth, and is now gone 

Great Men in History. 73 

to enjoy him forever. Do you suppose there is any 
record up there of who got the appointment for mar- 
shal in northern Alabama ? Do you suppose there is 
any record up there about district representation? 
Do you suppose there is any record up there of the 
proposed horizontal reduction of the tariff? Do 
you suppose there is any record up there of nine 
tenths of all you read in the daily papers every 
morning? But what this woman did is recorded 
there. When the solemn reversals of eternity shall 
even up the hard inequalities of this time, it will be 
found that often the last here are the first here, and 
the first here are the last there. 

Has Christian manliness never been triumphant 
in history? Have those qualities in human nature 
that we have hitherto tried to group and descrieb 
under the three words, courage, dutifulness, love, 
never won supreme victory in the history of the 
race? What was the secret of the power of Colum- 
bus? His great and pure character! What was it 
in Martin Luther that overawed the splendid as- 
sembly at Worms? It was the downright integrity 
of the man, his simple and sublime faith in, and loy- 
alty to, the right. " Here stand I ; I can do no 
other. God help me." And was he not making 
history? This it was which ennobled and glorified 
John Bunyan, and strengthened him to say, after 
an incarceration of twelve years, " I have deter- 
mined yet to suffer, the Almighty God being my 
helper, even until the moss shall grow over my eye- 
brows, if frail life shall continue so long, rather 

74 Christian Manliness. 

than violate my faith and my principles." He was 
a history-maker. And so was honest Hugh Lati- 
mer, not only when preaching at Paul's Cross, but 
when he bade Master Ridley to be of good cheer 
and play the man. This was the real secret of the 
fiery eloquence, electric and contagious, of Wendell 
Phillips, one of the great makers of our history. 
He was a patrician, but that will be forgotten ; he 
was a scholar, but that will be forgotten ; he was the 
greatest orator of the English-speaking races of his 
time, but that will pale into a dim tradition ; but 
while the memory of mankind endures it will never 
be forgotten that the patrician, the scholar, the 
orator ostracized himself for a poor, despised, en- 
slaved race, facing in the center of culture in Amer- 
ica the rage and fury of the " broadcloth mob," and 
that throughout his whole life he had the unerring 
sagacity to pierce through all external disguises and 
wrappings, and see the right, and, seeing it, he had 
the courage to bow himself down to it, and the 
faith to know that in so doing he served God. 

This is manhood in history ! and when a whole 
crowd of the petty names now being dinned into 
our ears are lost in the rubbish of the ages, the 
brave and eloquent patrician-commoner of New 
England, Wendell Phillips, will be remembered 
with gratitude, with respect, with ever-increasing 
and imperishable honor. " The memory of the 
wicked shall rot, but the righteous shall be had in 
everlasting remembrance." 

When I was a boy, beginning to read a little, the 

Great Men in History. 75 

name of Socrates, the old Greek, used to puzzle me 
greatly. I could not find out what he had ever 
done; I could not find out that he had ever built 
any city, that he had ever commanded any armies, 
that he had ever devised any system of finance, that 
he had ever rescued the state by any comprehensive 
measure of statesmanship. And yet he has won a 
unique and commanding place in the history of the 
race, and men every-where unite to do honor to his 
name. Now, by what forces, by the concurrence 
of what influences, was he lifted to this high, se- 
rene, and ample place ? Why should we call him 
the greatest and wisest of the Greeks? He was not 
the mythical founder of a great state, as Numa or 
Theseus ; he was not an original law-giver, as Solon 
or Lycurgus ; he was not a genius in statesmanship, 
as was Pericles; he was not a victorious general, as 
was Miltiades ; he rescued no oppressed cities, as 
did Timoleon ; he built no splendid temples and 
carved no great statues of the immortal gods, as 
did the great Phidias ; he did not aspire to the dis- 
tinction of a poet-philosopher, as did his illustrious 
disciple, the divine Plato. Nevertheless, he is 
greater than any of them, more widely known than 
any other Greek. Put it to the test of the average 
unlettered man on the street, and while he has 
heard of Socrates he knows nothing of Miltiades, 
or Pericles, or Timoleon, or Phidias. Why? He 
became one of the ruling forces in history solely 
by virtue of the supremacy in him of ethical man- 
hood. He was a sound man at the core. The 

76 Christian Manliness. 

root of the matter was in him — righteousness. He 
is not, indeed, to be judged by his country and his 
age ; his moral rule suffers by comparison with 
ours; he was not a perfect character; we are not 
to forget that he was an Athenian of pre-Christian 
times; but as far as it was given him to see the 
light he courageously and steadfastly followed it, 
utterly regardless of consequences. He talked 
about a "demon" that went about with him, and 
whenever this demon, or voice, or divine intimation 
told him not to do any thing he would not do it ; 
and it so happened that this demon, or voice, or di- 
vine intimation generally told him not to do things 
that were wrong. His manhood was exhibited in 
the winter campaign at Potidaea, where the rigors 
of the northern climate of Thrace could not chill 
his spirits nor freeze his patriotism. It shone forth 
illustriously in his bold and perilous rescue of his 
friend Xenophon, amid the confusion and flight 
that followed the defeat at Delium. He never held 
office but once in his life, and then but for a single 
day; that was quite long enough for the fickle and 
venal Athenians to have such a man as Socrates in 
office. Athens had been engaged in an unsuccess- 
ful war, and certain rivals of the ten generals com- 
manding the Athenian armies were stirring up the 
people against them to demand their execution. 
It so happened that in regular turn, going around 
among the tribes, the lot fell to Socrates to preside 
that day. The measure was illegal in form and in- 
iquitous in substance, and so he nobly refused to 

Great Men in History. 77 

put it to vote. They tried every art known to 
wily and supple Greeks in order to swerve him 
from the right ; they threatened him, they flattered 
him, they entreated him, they denounced him ; 
but the ugly old man stood there all day and 
quietly and calmly and persistently and inflexibly 
refused to put the question to vote. He was never 
again called to the discharge of any public trust 
in Athens, and I doubt if to-day he could be elected 
to Congress in America! On the day of his trial, 
when he stood in the presence of his superstitious 
and unjust judges, he used this memorable language : 
" Men of Athens, I honor and love you ; but I shall 
obey the gods rather than you, and while I have 
life and health I shall never cease from the practice 
and teaching of virtue, exhorting any one whom I 
meet after my manner, and convincing him, saying, 
' O my friend, why do you, who are a citizen of the 
great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so 
much about laying up the greatest amount of money 
and honor and reputation, and so little about wis- 
dom and truth and the greatest improvement of the 
soul, which you never regard or heed at all?'' 
When they found him guilty, hoping to escape the 
infliction of a capital sentence, they turned to him 
and asked him w T hat the sentence should be ; and the 
old man, seventy years of age, with biting sarcasm, 
answered, " I suppose I ought to be maintained in 
honor at the expense of the State for the remain- 
der of my life as a reward for my eminent services 
thereto." Then they took another vote and sen- 

78 Christian Manliness. 

tenced him to death. During the absence of the 
sacred vessel at Delos, it was unlawful for the 
Athenians to execute a capital sentence. His 
friends thought to improve this opportunity to se- 
cure his escape. They bribed the jailer, they se- 
cured a swift-flying trireme, they provided a secure 
retreat in Thessaly, and then, acquainting him with 
their plans, they urged him to fly. He declared 
that he had devoted all his life to teaching the duty 
of obedience to the laws, and that he would not now 
furnish a public example of disobedience. They 
tell him that he has been unlawfully condemned. 
He replies that wrong never justifies wrong. His 
virtue is proof alike against the malice of his ene- 
mies and the entreaties of his friends. 

How memorable is that death-scene in Athens! 
In pathetic interest and moral sublimity there is 
but one greater in the whole history of mankind. 
What a strange glory surrounds that last day in 
prison ! He spent his final hours in conversation 
with his friends on the relation of pain and pleas- 
ure, on the cowardice of suicide, on the nature of 
virtue, on the immortality of the soul. In the 
midst of their pleasant converse the hour of doom 
arrives. The executioner reluctantly approaches 
him, holding in his hand the cup of hemlock, and 
tells him that the hour has come, and then burst into 
tears. Socrates held it for a moment, and said: 
" Is there enough to secure the purpose for which 
it was appointed, and also to permit me to make 
a libation to the gods?" And he was answered 

Great Men in History. 79 

in the negative. He then asked for directions, and, 
having received them, he composedly drank the 
fatal potion at one draught, without a single change 
of feature. The long pent-up emotion of his friends 
bursts forth in loud weeping, but he gently chides 
them, reminding them that he had sent the women 
away hours before that he might have a quiet and 
peaceful death. He walked around the room until 
he felt the languor was in his limbs, and then lying 
down upon his couch he covered his face. Grad- 
ually the torpor reached his heart. The hour of his 
departure is at hand, and while the golden sunlight 
yet lingers on the hills that guard the City of the 
Violet Crown the spirit of Socrates goes to join the 
invisible assembly of the pure and the good, and 
to mingle forever with the spirits of just men made 
perfect. He was not a great poet, as Homer; he 
was not a great orator, as Demosthenes ; he was 
not a great dramatist, as Sophocles ; he was not a 
great king, as Xerxes ; he was not a great general, 
as Hannibal ; he was not a great statesman, as Caesar ; 
he was not a maker of systems, as Aristotle ; he re- 
stored no cities, as Themistocles ; but he was a man 
great enough, noble enough, honest enough, to see 
the simple and universal truth, and abide by it, that 
he who fears God and works righteousness has ex- 
hausted the whole meaning of human life. The 
glory of Athens has departed ; " her freedom and 
her power have for more than twenty centuries been 
annihilated ; her people have degenerated into timid 
slaves, her language into a barbarous jargon ; her 

So Christian Manliness. 

temples have been given up to the successive depre- 
dations of Romans, Turks, and Scotchmen ; " the 
unrivaled splendors of her Acropolis, gleaming far 
out to guide the returning mariner to the city of 
his passionate love, have faded and perished ; but 
the name of Socrates, like a glowing star, shines 
with increasing luster and brilliancy across the wide 
and solemn spaces of the centuries. In the long 
roll of the ages, his is the only name that Christian 
men have ever ventured to compare with the Name 
that is above every name. 

This truth is susceptible of a broader application ; 
it will bear, and it demands, an application to na- 
tions. Manhood in history is most conspicuously 
illustrated in the causes that have governed the rise, 
growth, and decay of nations. It is that particular 
period in the history of a nation when the balance 
swings over from righteousness to falseness, dishon- 
esty, cowardice, cruelty, sensuality, and baseness 
that the causes begin to operate which in their 
final issue decide its ultimate overthrow. In the 
earlier periods of the history of the Greek race their 
false religion held them fast at least to the common 
fundamental virtues ; but when the era of overflow- 
ing wealth and leisure and luxury and skepticism 
set in, and when at last the Greeks would have 
changed our formula — Courage, dutifulness, love — 
and would have said, " Gold, beauty, intellect" — 
then Greece was gone, and nothing could rescue 
her. When she tried to purchase her safety by dis- 
tributing gold to Philip of Macedon, when she pre- 

Great Men in History. 8 1 

tended that duty could be transformed into beauty, 
when in her swelling intellectual vanity she believed 
that if the gods were to come to the'earih they 
would speak in the language of Plato, then the fate 
of Greece was sealed. In the early history of Rome 
no nation or people could long stand before her ; 
but when wealth accumulated, when, finally, instead 
of dutifulness there came undutifulness and disobe- 
dience, when the Roman husband asserted and ex- 
ercised the right of free divorce from his wife, the 
right to put her away at his will, when the time 
came that they held such banquets in the houses of 
the wealthy as you may see portrayed in a striking 
painting now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
when, to protect themselves from mob violence, 
they threw largesses of wheat to the half-starving 
populace, the very heart of manhood in Rome was 
eaten out, and the time had come for the Goths and 
Vandals to portion her off. Wheresoever the car- 
cass is, the birds of prey are gathered together. 

There is a modern nation that has attempted more 
than once to build itself on something else than 
truth, virtue, and holiness, seeking some artificial 
substitute for personal righteousness. I would not 
do injustice to France, but, if I read her history 
aright, her formula for nearly a hundred years has 
too often been " Glory, pleasure, passion," and she 
has attempted by that formula to lead the world. 
What has been the result ? She has gone down 
again and again before sturdier peoples, and I have 
no faith in the permanence of the present republic 

82 Christian Manliness. 

unless the French people fall in love with sober, self- 
renouncing virtue ; unless the French people learn 
that courage, dutifulness, love — not glory, pleasure, 
passion — constitute the strength of a great nation. 

With all the faults and sins of England, she has 
endured for twelve glorious centuries, and where is 
the nation that can conquer her now? Why? 
Because the body of her people are and have 
always been sound at heart. And America — we 
are in no danger so long as the body of the people 
are sound. I have not much hope when I take an 
afternoon stroll on Broadway and Fifth Avenue, 
and look upon these gilded youths, with their mut- 
ton-chop whiskers, and their hair parted in the mid- 
dle, or banged low on the forehead, the light fringe 
of down on'their upper lips, oiled and perfumed, their 
pants fitting like gloves, and their tooth-pick shoes 
— my hope of this country is not built upon such 
manikins as these ; but because I believe the great 
body of the people to be uncorrupted, because I 
know that all over this land the majority of plain, 
sincere, home-loving people still believe in cour- 
age, dutifulness, love, I do firmly believe that we 
will weather many a future storm, and that if we 
continue to keep sound at heart we will weather all 

Jesus came to supereminent personal power and 
influence. All other names pale their ineffectual 
fires before his name. We think not of Socrates or 
Confucius, of Zoroaster or Buddha, or any man of 
ancient or modern times in his serene and superior 

Great Men in History. 83 

presence. What were the forces, what the elements, 
what the conditions of the strange and marvelous 
power to which the Nazarene has come? Our fa- 
thers in theology and apologetics honestly thought 
that the best method of proving the great power of 
Jesus was by assuming the truth of the miracles, 
and then arguing that whoever could work such 
miracles must necessarily be divine. We have 
learned a more natural and convincing way. We 
take him in his inherent and essential and inde- 
structible moral glory and perfection, without break 
or flaw or fault, and we say that the greater mira- 
cle of his sinlessness must include the lesser miracles 
ascribed to his power. Socrates is demonstrably 
defective ; Jesus Christ is absolutely faultless. In 
this he is unique. Here he stands alone. I know 
of no other being in whose behalf the claim is raised 
that he was absolutely sinless. How did he come 
to this power? Not by writing books; he never 
wrote any books, he never led any armies, he never 
founded any state, he never created a literature, he 
never established a philosophy, he was not the head 
of a school of art ; he moved among the people in 
Palestine quietly and simply, and declared that his 
Father had sent him into this world to do his will, 
and he offered no other reason for his being here. 
This was his message concerning himself: " I am 
here to do my Father's will ; " and he went about 
doing it, quietly, simply, faithfully, lovingly, and he 
did it to the end. The power of Jesus is the power 
of absolute righteousness. 

84 ChrrsTian Manliness. 

My friends, let us not be deceived, GOD is not 
mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he 
also reap ; whatsoever a nation soweth, that also 
shall it reap. No man can build on falseness and 
gather the fruits of honesty ; no man can build on 
unrighteousness and gather the fruits of righteous- 
ness. Be sure your sin will find you out. Right- 
eousness is safe, righteousness is profitable, right- 
eousness is the power of Jesus Christ, righteousness 
is the will of Almighty God. " The world passeth 
away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the 
will of God abideth forever." 

Christian Manliness in Trial. 85 


From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no 
more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also 
go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord,, to whom 
shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe 
and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. — 
John vi, 66-69. 

I AM to speak to you to-night on Christian Man- 
liness in Trial. Manliness is tried or put to the test 
in all those experiences and conditions of human 
life which menace the steadfastness, the unselfish- 
ness, the heroism of our virtues. Who is there with 
sufficient hardihood to undertake an exhaustive cat- 
alogue of such experiences and conditions? In 
short, this is a probationary state of being, this 
whole life is a trial life, this time is a testing time, 
and our environment is what it is for the fulfillment 
of the final, gracious purposes of Almighty God. 

The problem of human existence on this globe 
resolves itself at last to this : the evolution, under 
divine superintendence and care, of perfect spirit- 
ual beings by the mysterious ministry of growth, 
struggle, and trial. Sickness, pain, the gradual ap- 
proach of certain death — in such experiences Chris- 
tian manliness is put to the trial. Manliness is 
tested by poverty and by wealth, by obscurity and 
by fame, by defeat and by success, by failure and 
by victory. Calumny, public vituperation and 

86 Christian Manliness, 

abuse, secret solicitation to evil, devotion to unpal- 
atable truth, the service, in the presence of a hos- 
tile public opinion, of the despised and degraded 
classes in society, loneliness, the irreducible inequal- 
ities of society, betrayal, the seeming strength of 
wickedness, the seeming weakness of righteousness 
— these words imperfectly denote some of the con- 
ditions by which our manliness is here tested. 

How easy it is for a man to secure a cheap, 
ephemeral reputation by the vigorous and coura- 
geous denunciation of dead or dying errors ! To 
illustrate my thought, how cheap it is to-day for a 
Protestant preacher to denounce the errors of Ro- 
man Catholicism ! How easy it is for him to array 
himself against its dead or dying errors in the pres- 
ence of a sympathetic audience, who will be sure, at 
least inwardly, to applaud. Every bigot and zealot 
present will be especially delighted. How brave it 
is to get a reputation as a Defender of the Faith 
when perhaps there is not a Catholic present, and 
if there should be one, and he should rise and un- 
dertake a defense of his faith, he would be cast out 
of the synagogue ! Now, this is not the spirit of 
the men who three hundred years ago denounced 
Catholicism. The men of that day were face to 
face with Catholicism in its living power, and for 
them to denounce its errors probably meant, and 
in very many instances actually meant, imprison- 
ment, social ostracism, the fagot, death in some 
cruel form. But it is not manly to seek to ob- 
tain a temporary reputation by the vigorous and 

Christian Manliness in Trial. 87 

unsparing denunciation of error that is either dead 
or in the last gasp. I put this in that I might 
preach a little to myself. I have preached a good 
deal to you, and it is well sometimes for the preach- 
er to do as the physician does when he comes to our 
houses — taste his own medicine. 

Have you ever heard of the tests to which the 
manhood of Wellington was submitted in the Pe- 
ninsular Campaigns? How when he went there 
he found himself in the presence of 350,000 French 
soldiers, thirsting for glory and hitherto victorious 
on almost every battle-field, and led by some of 
Napoleon's most distinguished marshals, while Wel- 
lington had but 30,000 British troops ? This was 
the case for four years, and he. was subjected to 
the test of waiting with 30,000 men in Portugal 
until by his inactivity the French army should be 
demoralized, and he raise up a Portuguese and 
Spanish contingent that would enable him to 
have the victory. To wait four years at the head 
of 30,000 men with England clamoring for an attack, 
and all this time to be unmurmuring, and to abide 
by his policy until the day for victory came, was the 
exhibition of a noble manhood. 

Nor was this all. One of Napoleon's marshals, 
when he marched out of Spain, carried with him 
some of the most valuable pictures in that country. 
The Duke of Wellington carried out of Spain and 
Portugal not a cent's worth of any thing that be- 
longed to another man. When he at last crossed 
the French frontier and news was brought to him 

88 Christian Manliness. 

that 40,000 Spanish infantry were about to gather 
fortunes by indiscriminate pillage, he remonstrated 
with their officers, and when they would not listen 
to him he sent the whole army back to Spain. At 
home they were plotting against him ; every jealous 
rival was seeking to undermine him. The home ad- 
ministration at that time was weak, hesitating, dila- 
tory, and not equal to the great emergency ; the 
Spaniards were grasping and rapacious, the Portu- 
guese were ambitious and self-seeking ; and yet in 
the presence of all these difficulties he built up an 
army, and trained it, and gave it a splendid esprit 
du corps, and at last hurled it against this hitherto 
victorious French army, and comes down to us the 
great victor of the Peninsular Campaign. In the 
midst of his victories he writes a secret letter to the 
home government : " I am overwhelmed with debt 
(not his own personal debts, but debts contracted in 
the prosecution of his campaigns), and can scarcely 
go out of my house on account of public creditors 
waiting to demand of me their just dues." Yet he 
was patient, and waited, and kept himself submis- 
sive, and at last, at Waterloo, it was given to this 
Iron Duke to break forever the power of the most 
unprincipled political and military adventurer that 
has ever appeared in the whole history of man. 

" Such was he ; his work is done. 

But while the races of mankind endure 

Let his great example stand 

Colossal, seen of every land, 

And keep the soldier firm, the statesman pure ; 

Christian Manliness in Trial. 89 

Till in all laivls and thro' all human story 
The path of duty be the way to glory ! " 

We think that General Grant was the first Amer- 
ican soldier who has been abused. We think that 
Samuel J, Tilden is the first great public man who 
has ever had enough patience never to reply to his 
infamous detractors. We forget that George Wash- 
ington was scandalously abused and vilified. His 
manhood was most severely tested in the winter of 
1777-78. In the fall of the preceding year Wash- 
ington had been well-nigh uniformly unsuccessful, 
while Stark and Gates had been successful. That 
was the famous winter of Valley Forge. The army 
was inactive, and the country was impatient. Cabal 
after cabal was formed against him, and who do you 
suppose the intriguers were ? Leading officers in 
the Continental army, prominent members of the 
Continental Congress, and eminent civilians. Forged 
letters were printed in the newspapers of New York 
and London, with the avowed purpose of showing 
that George Washington was insincere in his devo- 
tion to the cause of the revolution. His friends be- 
sought him to reply, but he nobly refused. Why? 
Because he could not defend himself without sacri- 
ficing the cause. He said to them : " How can I 
defend myself by a letter? Look at these soldiers. 
Do they ask me why I am inactive? Shall I reply 
that the soldiers are almost starved, with insufficient 
clothing, weakened by exposure? I will wait and 
see the end." He never wrote a line to defend 
himself through all that terrible winter. He waited, 

90 Christian Manliness. 

and worked, and won ; and now that the mists have 
cleared away, yonder he stands, the grandest figure 
that ever presided over the birth of a great people, 
the Father of his country: first in war, first in peace, 
and first in the hearts of his countrymen. 

John Milton, loving as he did the " still air of de- 
lightful studies," consecrated himself with the fer- 
vor and devotion of a religious devotee to the war 
against the divine right of kings and of tyrannical 
prelacy in England, and during the struggles of the 
Long Parliament, and during the Protectorate of 
Oliver Cromwell, he worked with such uncommon 
assiduity that at last he became blind. After a 
while the Commonwealth perished, and the cause 
seemed lost. Milton was an old man. His daugh- 
ters cheated him in the market money. An enter- 
prising and generous publisher gave him $25 for the 
copyright of Paradise Lost. 

* The time came to receive Charles the Second, and 
reinstate him on the throne of his ancestors, and 
the people lined the cliffs of Dover and took off 
their hats and waved them and made the welkin 
ring with their loud huzzas, but John Milton was 
not there. If he had been, he would have kept his 
hat on his head ; for he was no obsequious syco- 
phant. He had never learned to "crook the preg- 
nant hinges of the knee, that thrift might follow 
fawning." He was still a Puritan ; no more believ- 
ing now than twenty years before in prelacy, or the 
divine right of kings. He never compromised, and 
in his blind old age, deserted, hated, proscribed, 

Christian Manliness in Trial. gi 

poverty-stricken, he stood by his principles, and 
pathetically described his situation in one of the 
noblest tragic dramas in the English language. 

And was he complaining? Did he lose faith in 
Providence? Did he murmur? Listen to his no- 
blest sonnet : 

" Cyriac, this three years clay these eyes, though clear 

To outward view of blemish or of spot, 

Bereft of light their seeing have forgot ; 

Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear 

Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year, 

Or man or woman. Yet I argue not 

Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 

Of heart or hope ; but still bear up and steer 

Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask? 

The conscience, Friend, to have lost them overplied 

In Liberty's defense; my noble task 

Of which all Europe rings from side to side. 

This thought might lead me thro' the world's vain mask, 

Content, though blind, had I no better guide." 

It is related that Charles II. and the Duke of York 
once visited the old man in his humble lodgings to 
revile him for the part he had taken in the Com- 
monwealth, and that they taunted him on account 
of the failure of his cause, declaring that he had 
been justly forsaken of God and man. Charles II., 
one of the most unscrupulous and dissolute liber- 
tines that ever disgraced a throne in the whole his- 
tory of the world, and the Duke of York, after- 
ward his successor, a narrow, sullen, obstinate bigot 
— what men to revile Milton ! They were the kings 
then, but Milton is the king now ; a king not alone 

by virtue of his splendid and immortal genius, but 


92 Christian Manliness. 

quite as much by his devotion to unpopular truth, 
by his vast and his incalculable services to popular 
liberty, by the rare purity of his character, and by 
his deep and calm faith in God and the eternal 
power of goodness. 

On that dreadful, awful, fatal second of July morn- 
ing, when Garfield was stretched on the floor at 
Washington City in the public railway station, the 
sudden shock, the prospect of immediate death, could 
not unman him ; he was equal to the solemn hour, 
he had no preparation to make — he had made it 
long ago. When they took him to his room and 
told him that he had one chance in a hundred, he 
cheerily replied, " Well, we will take that chance 
and fight it out." And then for eighty days and 
nights he looked into the open grave, and he saw 
all the high ambitions that he had cherished depart 
one after another, and the weary days and the long 
nights of pain followed each other, and these things 
did not break his spirit. His manhood, tested by a 
sudden shock, was equal to the occasion. His 
manhood, tested by prolonged and almost unparal- 
leled suffering, was equal to the occasion. Man- 
hood is indeed sovereign over " the undiscovered 
mystery of pain." 

But the great army of unrecorded, unrecognized, 
unrequited heroes! How many men there have 
been who in humble places have maintained their 
manhood unsullied, incorrupt, sound, and whole! 
An officer in a bank, in a subordinate position, not 
the president, not the cashier, not striving for the 

Christian Manliness in Trial. 93 

place of president or cashier, calls the attention of 
a number of the trustees to a system of entries be- 
ing pursued which were fraudulent in their nature. 
He again and again pointed out the danger of such 
entries, and the directors, trying to avoid trouble, 
not wishing to make any change in the chief officers, 
accepted his resignation, and for years he found no 
place until the earnings of his life were gradually 
exhausted. He was not a distinguished man. His 
name is not written anywhere in any of the public 
places of earth. If it is not written yonder, then no 
book of remembrance is kept. 

A young man finds himself with the fatal cough 
that betokens certain death. He has graduated 
with honor, he has been admitted to the bar, his 
prospects in life are unusually flattering, but never 
to father or mother, never to brother or sister, never 
to the most intimate friend did he allow one word 
of complaint or murmuring to escape him as he 
walked to the grave. Nay, more; within a month 
of his death, in the full possession of his reason, 
after much earnest thought, he chose a form of re- 
ligious faith deemed deadly heresy by his own 
friends, and was received into a Church that was to 
them a dangerously heretical Church, and all this he 
did quietly, and with great respect and love for 
those whose faith differed so widely from his own. 
That was heroism. 

Have you never heard of Thomas Wright, of Man- 
chester, the foundryman who received not quite 
$500 a year, and by accident discovered that liber- 

94 Christian Manliness. 

ated convicts had a hard time to get an honest 
place? This honest, brotherly foundryman took 
these convicts and got them places, and he appor- 
tioned his scanty earnings in such a way that a 
certain sum would be at his disposal temporarily 
to assist the released convicts for whom he could 
not find places. He worked in the foundry from 
six in the morning till six in the evening. In ten 
years he had secured places for three hundred con- 
victs, all of whom proved themselves trustworthy, 
and were thus rescued from villainy. Now, do you 
think that man's name isn't in heaven? When they 
call the roll in heaven, kings and philosophers and 
poets and statesmen, popes and cardinals and bish- 
ops, a great number of them, must wait until plain 
Thomas Wright gets his crown. 

The beginning of the public ministry of Jesus has 
been styled a " Galilean spring-time." The music 
of love that marked the beginning of that minis- 
try was disturbed by but a single discordant note, 
his rejection by his fellow-townsmen of Nazareth. 
But at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, in the great 
crowds that thronged him in the vicinity of Caper- 
naum, Tiberius, and Bethsaida, in the popularity that 
led him to seek retreat from the crowds at night 
and early in the morning, that he might have time 
for prayer and rest, we see how bright and promis- 
ing in the beginning was the ministry of Jesus. 

It is apparent, to those who study the New Tes- 
tament faithfully, that at the beginning the Phari- 
sees hoped to be able to make use of him as a 

Christian Manliness in Trial. 95 

popular leader. The people were his friends : there 
was no open break yet with the national Church, 
no open break with the recognized religious leaders 
of the nation. Time went on, and first of all his 
own relatives broke from him, and said that he was 
beside himself. The first sinister rumor was that 
he had gone crazy as the result of his enthusi- 
asm for humanity. Then the Pharisees conspired 
against him, and after a while the Jewish rational- 
ists, the Sadducees, and then the astute, superserv- 
iceable politicians of the day, the Herodians, men 
who were hangers-on in Herod's court, waiting for 

Have you ever thought of the epithets applied to 
Jesus? Sometimes when I read in the papers an 
unusually abusive and scurrilous article on some 
worthy public man, I take a piece of paper and write 
out the epithets that were employed against Jesus. 
They called him a glutton, a wine-bibber, a heretic, 
a crazy man, a Sabbath-breaker, a seditionist, and 
they brought a charge that he was in league with 
the prince of the devils, a heathen god of such a 
character that if I should attempt here to describe 
his filthiness this congregation would not wait to 
hear the recital ; and yet they said that it was by 
his alliance with Beelzebub, the prince of the dev- 
ils, that he cast out devils. The people soon fell 
away from him, and he was left alone. And so 
Jesus knew what it was to have his manliness tested 
in trial. " From that time many of his disciples 
went back, and walked no more with him." Is 

g6 Christian Manliness. 

there any thing more pathetic in the language of 
man than the words of Jesus at this time to the 
twelve : " Will ye also go away ? " If there is any 
thing that touches a deeper chord in the being of a 
reverent man, it is the other question of Jesus to 
the three disciples in the garden : " What, could ye 
not watch with me one hour?" So it was that as a 
Son he was made perfect by suffering. 

I summon you to these ranks. I summon you 
especially, young men, to the manhood that asks, 
not " How much can this world give me," not " How 
many friends can I make who will bring wealth and 
honor to me," but to a loftier type of manliness ; to 
the courage that will lead you to speak the needed 
but unpalatable truth, to the faith that will inspire 
you to join the right but unpopular side, to such 
quiet steadiness of dutifulness as would lead you in 
an obscure position to do what Thomas Wright, the 
English foundryman, did. 

I call you to be subject to the abuse, to the vitu- 
peration, to the slander of the time. I call you to 
the larger, nobler, diviner life that gives, gives, 
gives, and is yet glad, smiling, trustful, and broth- 

I call you to-night to such arduous service, and to 
keep, withal, an unsoured heart, a bright face, and 
an open palm. I call you to the higher manhood 
of all the heroes of the past who have given us this 
splendid heritage of liberty and religion, of home 
and literature ; to the glorious fellowship of all who 
by the toil of their hands, by the sweat of their 

Christian Manliness in Trial, 97 

brows, and the blood of their hearts, have made it 
possible for us to be here, and to be what we are. 

Hear the voice that speaks to you, and when 
Jesus asks, amid all the apostasies and declensions 
of this modern time, " Will ye also go away?" fear 
not to answer with Peter, " Lord, to whom shall we 
go ? Thou hast the words of eternal life ; and we 
believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the 
Son of the living God." 

98 Christian Manliness. 


Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear 
what we shall be : but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall 
be like him ; for we shall see him as he is. — 1 John iii, 2. 

The Bible, as the vehicle of a supernatural reve- 
lation, discloses and sets in a clear light the peculiar 
glory and greatness of man. This it does in its own 
peculiar way. If it represents him as a wrong-doer, 
it does not put that wrong-doing on a small, paltry, 
puny scale ; he is a great wrong-doer, and the very 
essence of his sin is made to consist in an act of au- 
dacious rebellion against the Supreme Majesty of 
the Universe. Only a great being would venture 
on such an act. If it describes him as in peril on 
account of his sin, it unfolds that peril as being 
vast, tremendous, and immeasurable, a peril such as 
a great transgressor only, not some petty criminal, 
would be likely to incur. If it describes him as in 
ruins, it is the ruin of a mighty and glorious being, 
such as is described in Bushnell's sermon on " The 
Dignity of Human Nature as Shown by Its Ruins." 
If he is overtaken by guilt, the matter is of such 
importance that God himself sets out on a search 
for him, to rescue him and restore him to right- 
eousness. If he is to be redeemed, it is not by sil- 
ver or gold, or by the blood of any dumb animal, 

Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manliness. 99 

or by any cold process of merely naturalistic de- 
velopment, but by the incarnation of Divinity, the 
voluntary condescension of the Great Being to the 
pain, the suffering, the limitations, and the whole 
round of experience of our human life. The con- 
stant, pervading, and every-where-present assump- 
tion is that man is a spiritual being, sprung from 
God, open to God, made for the highest righteous- 
ness, carrying about in him now God-like faculties, 
equal to direct and intimate communion with the 
great Original of his being, permeable and inspira- 
ble by God. This is the peculiar way in which the 
Bible makes man great — by relating him to God ; 
and no moral being is great except as he is related 
to God. 

Man's present relation to God, not only, but the 
vast possibilities of growth that inhere in this truth 
of his Divine kinship make him great. This is the 
latent thought of the text. Man now is the Son 
of God, incalculable in the worth and dignity of 
his being, and his actual greatness, his existing pow- 
ers point to a future development and glory, a com- 
ing investiture of purity and power, that run far 
beyond the reach of all his present powers of con- 
ception. " Beloved, noiv (here, living in the flesh), 
NOW are we the sons of God " — we have reached 
that condition already; we are that far along in the 
line of spiritual development; " but it doth not 
yet appear what we shall be ; " there is not suffi- 
cient data to enable us to cipher that out, and so 
(for to the writers of the New Testament there was 

ioo Christian Manliness. 

no more perfect manhood or being than Jesus 
Christ) it is declared that we shall be like him 
when he shall appear. 

For several weeks in this place on Sunday even- 
ings we have been studying the nature and power 
of Christian manliness. In the first lecture its con- 
stituent elements were described — what it was not, 
and what it was — and it was shown that neither 
genius nor talent nor scholarship nor manners nor 
knowledge, nor any physical fortitude alone, nor 
agility nor grace nor beauty, contained the desirable 
and necessary elements ; that three words, more 
nearly than any others, denoted what it contained — 
Courage, Dutifulness, Love ; that the inspiring soul 
of genuine manliness was reality; that man should 
be true to the last fiber of his nature, straight in 
all moral purpose ; and that in these and like ele- 
ments manliness consisted. It was found that it 
did not depend upon the place of a man's birth, 
upon his early surroundings, upon the society he 
mingled with in boyhood or moved in now, whether 
he had or had not obtained high public position, 
but that wherever there was a human spirit that so 
received the right as to bow down to it and serve it, 
there was a man ; and that all other kinds of men 
were simply animals on their road to manhood. In 
the second lecture the power of manliness was 
shown in poverty; how it was confronted with the 
peculiar temptations of that state, and how again 
and again and again it had triumphed over these 
seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Such illustra- 

Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manliness, i o I 

tions were given as are afforded by the careers of 
Horace Greeley, and Alexander H. Stephens in this 
country, and from the great host of men — as good 
and as true — without their high mental endowments, 
and who have never come to fame, or to power, or 
public position. In the third lecture the power of 
manliness was exhibited in public or civic life, and 
incidents in the lives of such men as John Stuart 
Mill, Charles Sumner, Burke, Macaulay, Lincoln, 
and Garfield were cited to show that men might be 
brought conspicuously before the public, placed in 
critical and emergent positions and relations, and 
not deviate the millionth part of a hair's breadth 
from righteousness. In the fourth lecture the pres- 
ence of manliness was shown in the realm of litera- 
ture, and the careers of Prescott, Wordsworth, Scott, 
and Shakespeare were briefly recounted in order to 
show that moral sanity was the substruction of last- 
ing genius, that all genius that did not have under- 
lying it the ethical — the manliness — element was on 
its way to dissolution and death. In the fifth lect- 
ure it was disclosed that in history manliness was 
sovereign ; that the final arbitraments of fame are 
made to depend upon righteousness, and that all 
corrupt, false, unrighteous men hasten to such an 
eclipse of reputation as can only befall those whose 
great powers have been basely prostituted to unholy 
purposes. On last Sunday evening it was described 
as undergoing pain, suffering, obloquy, persecution, 
defeat, failure; and the careers of Washington, and 
Milton, and Wellington, and other great men were 

102 Christian Manliness. 

so far opened up as to show that a man could fight 
against both wind and tide if the root of the matter 
was in him. 

Now, what is the result or meaning of it all ? I am 
sure, in the first place, that those of you who have 
been here during the delivery of this course of lect- 
ures must have formed a higher estimate of human 
nature, of the moral greatness of man. It is well that 
you have; for there are so many unmanly men, so 
many tricky men, so many disingenuous men, so 
many cowards and impostors, liars and sneaks in the 
world, so many cruel men, so many treacherous men, 
that one must feel refreshed and quickened to be 
brought into the presence of men who scorn to do 
a mean thing. Well, now, that is the way we ought 
to judge human nature. Some people judge human 
nature as a man would who, going in the fall to an 
apple-tree hanging full of apples, makes diligent 
search for all the mean, scrawny, corrupted, taste- 
less apples there are, and then says : " Ah ! these are 
the kind of apples that this wonderful tree pro- 
duces ! " That is not a fair test for any tree ; 
take the finest apples it will produce under the best 
conditions, and they are the apples which it ought 
to produce. That is the kind of apples the tree was 
intended to produce, and it will produce that kind 
in genial soil and under proper cultivation. When 
I see a bungler taking his seat on the organ stool I 
never blame the organ ; I wait for somebody who 
knows how to evoke its subtle and wonderful har- 
monies before I pass final judgment on the instru- 

Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manliness. 103 

ment. And when I want to know how I am to 
judge men, I will not run around and pick out all 
the low, base, mean, cowardly men I can find, and 
say, "This is human nature!" There are some 
men who would rather be vultures than eagles ; 
there are some people who enjoy a feast of carrion 
seven days in the week better than any thing else ! 
An eagle never eats carrion ; he flies too high to 
smell it. To judge human nature fairly and hon- 
orably, take the best men the race has produced 
under the most favorable conditions, and remember 
that every man has in him the same moral capaci- 
ties. That man yonder may be coarse, he may be 
vulgar, he may be dishonest, he may be treacherous, 
he may be warped by his inheritance, his training, 
his circumstances, but (God pity him !) he has in 
him all the moral capacities, potentialities, that 
other men have, and I will not despise him, I will 
not revile him, I will not judge him narrowly and 
harshly, for he is my brother, since he is my Father's 

These lectures have brought before us a large 
body of most significant facts — facts that need to 
be accounted for, explained, in some way. They 
are facts after their own kind, they are ethical facts, 
spiritual facts, invisible facts, impalpable facts, but 
facts nevertheless. Some people have no idea of 
a fact except it be as a stone, or a mountain, or a 
brick wall, or some solid material substance they 
can put their hands or feet upon. There are those 
who think that, when you use the word "fact," you 

104 Christian Manliness. 

must confine it to realities of weight, to facts of 
number, to facts of color, to purely material facts ; 
but there are facts that you cannot color, or num- 
ber, or weigh, or touch, or handle, or see, or taste. 
You buy a pound of coffee from a man, and his 
scales are half an ounce too light; you have in your 
hand a pound of coffee less half an ounce — that is 
one fact ; you have in your head the knowledge that 
your grocer is dishonest — and that is as much a fact 
as the other is, only you cannot take it up in your 
hand, weigh it, or carry it off with you in a bundle. 
Courage is a fact — as much a fact as the Rocky 
Mountains; it is as much a fact as the granite bases of 
Mount Washington. Truth — that is as much a fact 
as the eternal hills. Dutifulness — that is a fact, just 
as much as a stone, or a picture, or a church, or a 
cathedral is a fact. Love, brotherliness, kindliness 
of disposition — these are facts, only they are not 
palpable, tangible, material, objective facts ; they 
are immaterial, invisible, spiritual. 

How shall we account for these facts? Do they 
suggest any thing? What is their spiritual signifi- 
cance ? I propose, first of all, to take that theory 
of our life proposed by modern unbelief, and apply 
it to these facts, and see if that will account for 
them. Modern unbelief may be comprehensively 
described under four heads : Materialism, Agnosti- 
cism, Fate, Annihilation. 

Materialism asserts that man is not a double be- 
ing, but simply an organism of matter; that what 
we call thought, emotion, will, conscience — all the 

Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manliness. 105 

spiritual elements that are supposed to belong to 
our natures — are simply the results of certain mo- 
lecular changes of the cerebral matter. I might 
even go farther and run the risk of securing a repu- 
tation for pedantry by saying that materialism as- 
serts that thought is a secretion of the white and 
gray matter of the brain under certain molecular 
conditions. I suppose you understand that ; I hope 
you do ; I do not ! The theory of materialism is 
that there is nothing spiritual in man ; that all there 
is of him is the body of matter ; highly organized, 
it is true, but, after all, man is simply a physical 
being. When you take this small, dwarfish, petty 
theory of materialism, and put it along-side of the 
great moral and spiritual facts which we have been 
studying, you cannot account for them. If we are 
going to be materialists we ought to be willing to 
be materialists ; we ought fully to accept the logical 
results of our philosophy. Bacon has taught us, 
and modern science, following in his wake, has 
taught us, that we are to accept that theory or hy- 
pothesis of any class of facts which most easily and 
rationally accounts for the greatest number; that 
hypothesis is to be accepted by means of which the 
greatest number of facts sort themselves into har- 
mony. You take materialism, and put it along-side 
of these facts, and none of them sort themselves 
into harmony. 

Agnosticism is an armed neutrality of the intel- 
lect as to the existence of God, and especially as to 
his person, attitude, and character; it neither denies 

106 Christian Manliness. 

nor affirms that there is a God. There is a milder 
form of agnosticism with which men of warm, fervid 
temperaments are tinctured ; men who do not deny 
the existence of a Supreme Something, men who 
have gone beyond that phase of agnosticism, but 
who do deny that we know any thing about his 
character, or that we know, or can know, whether 
he is a person or not. They assert that he may be 
a power, or a law, or a stream of tendency, we can- 
not tell what. Take this theory of agnosticism, and 
put it along-side of this class of facts, and can you 
explain them ? Can you explain why a weak 
woman should meekly suffer through long years, on 
the theory that moral character is indifferent to 
whoever made the universe and man? I cannot; 
I stand in the presence of such a woman, suffering, 
toiling, giving her life for her children in poverty 
and obscurity, without a murmur or complaint — 
and then I am told that the Being, or Power, or 
whoever or whatever it is that created the woman, 
is utterly indifferent to her, careless whether she 
suffers or not. Such a theory as that does not ac- 
count for the facts ; it leaves the facts discordant, 
unrelated, unexplained, inexplicable. 

Fate is the doctrine that on the whole we can- 
not do any better than we have done and are now 
doing; that our circumstances are such, our envi- 
ronment is such, our inheritances are such, our 
teachings and teachers have been such, and our 
work is such that we could not well make any 
other volitions than those we are now exercising. 

Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manliness. 107 

I take that theory and put it along-side of the lives 
of these men who have battled circumstances. I put 
it along-side of the plain boy in the rude, rough, 
unpainted New Hampshire farm-house ; a boy with- 
out learning, without powerful friends. I put it 
along-side of that poor boy, and I mark his career 
as he battled circumstances, and beat them down, 
and trampled on them, and then bravely went on 
until he came to others and beat them down. And I 
read in history how men have thus triumphed again 
and again, and I see in human life all about me 
men and women who in the presence of difficulties 
well-nigh insuperable have risen to divine heights 
and by the power of the spiritual being within 
them have conquered all difficulties, overcome all 
obstacles, and I see clearly that this materialistic, 
mechanical theory of fate and environment will not 
account for the facts. 

The other word descriptive of modern doubt is 
annihilation ; that man, being a material being, hav- 
ing no spirit element in him, is doomed to extinc- 
tion ; that death ends all. Well, my friends, it de- 
pends upon whose dead body you are looking at. If 
you look at that of Guiteau, I do not wonder that you 
believe in annihilation ; but when I look at that of 
Garfield, I do not believe it. If I was God (I speak 
with reverence) I would not make such a man as 
Shakespeare, or Milton, or Lincoln, or Garfield, and 
then stamp him out forever. What kind of a theory 
of the universe is that which assigns to things of rel- 
atively little value a vast sweep of being, and then 

108 Christian Manliness. 

to choice, noble, gifted spirits gives only a few troub- 
led years of life ? What kind of a theory of the uni- 
verse is that, I ask, which gives to rocks and hills and 
oak-trees, to globes and suns, millenniums of life, and 
to great and noble and princely spirits, like Shake- 
speare and Milton and Washington and Greeley and 
Prescott and Wordsworth and Scott, only thirty or 
forty or fifty years ? 

" There is no death ! The stars go down 

To rise upon some fairer shore, 
And bright in heaven's jeweled crown 

They shine forever more." 

Now, take the Christian hypothesis ; take the 
great first truths of religion and apply them to this 
body of facts, and let us see if the facts will not at 
once begin to arrange themselves into order and 
harmony and consistency. It is a truth of religion 
that man is a spiritual being, that his body is a 
temporary dwelling-place of his spirit — as a shell 
very good to preserve the kernel, as a casket only 
valuable for the sake of the jewel within — but that 
the real man is the inside, invisible spirit-man. I 
take this doctrine that man is a spirit, and I put it 
along-side the spiritual facts which we have been 
studying, and I see at once that a spiritual being 
would be likely to do just such things. Just as I 
fail to see how a material being could do such 
things, so do I see why a spiritual being could and 
would do them ; and, therefore, according to the 
very first postulate of modern science, I accept the 
latter theory. The former theories fail to account 

Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manliness. 109 

for the facts, the latter theory does account for 

It is the teaching of religion not only that God is, 
but that he is a Moral Ruler ; that he has a distinct, 
positive, ascertainable, realizable, ethical character ; 
that he seeks righteousness, that he seeks it in his 
children, that he loves it wherever he sees it ; that 
all the processes of spiritual development that are 
going on every-where are intended to culminate in 
such holiness as will enable obedient moral natures 
to be eternally joined to his nature. I take this 
doctrine of the ethical character and personality of 
God, and I take the other truth, that man is God's 
child, and then I look at these great things that 
men have done, these great moral acts of which they 
are the subjects, and they seem to me to be ex- 
plained under the moral rule of such a God. 

It is the teaching of religion that man is morally 
responsible. It graduates this doctrine of responsi- 
bility in proportion to our knowledge, to our oppor- 
tunities, to our powers, to our light ; it demands 
much where much has been given, and little where 
little has been given ; it beats the man who knew 
the Lord's will and would not do it with many 
stripes, and the man who knew little about it with 
few stripes. Nevertheless it reins men up to a sharp 
responsibility, declaring, despite all the talk of mod- 
ern unbelief, that men are responsible for what they 
do, for what they think, for what they become, for 
what they love and hate ; and when I remember 
these things, and see how these men did act — as 

i io Christian Manliness. 

though they really were responsible — when I read 
their careers as they were carrying the nations 
through dark places, when I read how Lincoln cried 
out to God in the midst of the great Civil War, 
striving to rescue this nation from disunion and dis- 
memberment, when I remember these things, I ac- 
cept the truth of a stringent responsibility for all 
we do in this world. 

Another great truth of religion is immortality. 
Death, the last mystery and the last enemy, is vin- 
cible by Christian manliness. This manliness, which 
has won such glorious victories in the history of the 
race, shall not in its turn be conquered by death. 
It has conquered every thing else, and death shall 
not be its conqueror. Its eternal home is not in 
the darksome grave, but among the splendid stars. 
Death cannot destroy manhood. Did I not say 
that it was the child of God, and will he, after ap- 
pointing unto it such splendid victories as it has 
won here, will he permit the quick grave to swallow 
it up forever? My friends, the argument for the 
future life is not physical, not logical, but ethical. 
Remember the great words of Daniel Webster in 
his celebrated eulogy on Jeremiah Mason: "Con- 
science is an inheritance for eternity." What did 
he mean by it ? The facts of conscience are so sig- 
nificant that they transcend time limits. All at- 
tempts to bound them by time must fail. " Con- 
science is an inheritance for ETERNITY." This 
manhood, though it be indeed developed (as says 
our great infidel charmer), in " the narrow vale of 

Spiritual Prophecies of Christian Manliness. 1 1 1 

life," does not see, rising on either side of it, " the 
cold and barren peaks of two eternities." It sees 
those peaks, but it sees them clothed with verdure, 
and radiant in the warm embrace, the glad sun- 
shine of an infinite Father's love. Its vision is be- 
yond those heights. It sees in the eternity that is 
past the slow unfolding of a mighty plan. It sees 
in the eternity that is to come the gracious and 
solemn consummation of that plan. The vast dome 
of the sky of its hope is lighted up with more than 
one star. Its listening love hears the rustling wings 
of an uncounted host of angels. Somewhere in the 
undiscovered country there must be for this regal 
manhood a perfect temple, an ample home, and an 
eternal life. 

Let us hear, then, the conclusion of the whole 
matter. Be a mechanic? No! First of all, be a 
man. Be a merchant? No! You had better, first 
of all, be a man. Be a lawyer? No! First be a 
man. Be a banker? No! First be a man. Be a 
preacher? No! Then be trebly sure that you are 
a man. Be a man ! Be a man ! ! Be a man ! ! ! 
Aspire after courage, dutifulness, love. Be true, be 
open, be genuine, be sincere. Aim at nothing less 
than the perfect manhood of Jesus Christ. And 
then, when the end comes, in the fine words of Em- 
erson, "may the heavens open and take you away ! " 

" O ! who would not a champion be 
In this, the lordlier chivalry ? 
Uprouse ye now, brave brother band, 
With honest heart and working hind, 

112 Christian Manliness. 

We are but few, toil-tried, but true, 

And hearts beat high to dare and do ; 

O ! there be those who ache to see 

The day-dawn of our victory ! 

Eyes full of heart-break with us plead, 

And watchers weep, ana 1 martyrs bleed ; 

Work, brothers, work! Work, hand and brain 

We'll win the Golden Age again, 

And Love's millennial morn shall rise, 

In happy hearts and blessed eyes. 

We will, we will, brave champions be, 

In this, the lordlier victory ! " 

The Desire for Death, 1 1 3 


But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came 
and sat down under a juniper-tree : and he requested for himself 
that he might die; and said, It is enough ; now, O Lord, take away 
my life ; for I am not better than my fathers. — I Kings xix, 4. 

There is a striking contrast between divine and 
human biographies. The Bible gives the whole of 
a human character. It neither unduly extols the 
virtues nor extenuates the vices of its martyrs and 
heroes, saints and apostles. It does not labor to 
conceal the frailties and sins which every-where 
attach to our imperfect human nature. It does not 
seek to cover up and hide the follies and the in- 
firmities, the crimes and treacheries and apostasies, 
of which not a few of its prominent subjects were 
guilty. With a certain noble fearlessness, it relates 
the falls and weaknesses of its prophets, psalm- 
ists, lawgivers, kings, judges, priests, and apostles. 
Human biographies are careful to relate only the 
meritorious actions of their subjects. One would 
suppose in reading them that great and good men 
lived absolutely stainless, faultless lives. No moral 
overthrows, no glaring faults, no weak and despair- 
ing hours, no bitter repentance of excuseless sins 
are allowed to disfigure the fair record of spotless 
human lives. The guilt, the weakness, the fail- 
ures, the contradictions that are nowhere separable 

H4 Christian Manliness. 

from men are diligently excluded from any of the 
religious biographies and works we so eagerly de- 
vour. Modern religious biographies " give us not 
only the cream of the lives of their heroes, but very 
often that cream is churned into butter." In the 
text we have fearlessly and frankly related the sud- 
den terror and flight, and the subsequent discour- 
agement and despondency, of Elijah. In the ma- 
jority of religious biographies such an incident 
would never have found a place. It would have 
been thought fatally discreditable to a modern relig- 
ious hero to have acted as Elijah is here reported 
to have acted, and his biographer would certainly 
have resorted to every known literary device in or- 
der to conceal his weakness and disgrace. 

This refreshing truthfulness of the Bible consti- 
tutes one of the most convincing evidences of its 
superhuman origin. The Bible is God's book, and 
God can afford to tell the truth. If uninspired and 
calculating men had written the Bible, they would 
have carefully excluded the slightest reference to 
the intoxication of Noah, the impatience of Moses, 
the deceit of Abraham, the greed of Jacob, the 
adultery of David, the intolerance of John, and the 
denial of Peter. God has given us a book true to 
our manifold human life. The good and bad, the 
base and the noble, of our humanity are here. Its 
high resolves and its poor performance, its lofty 
yearnings and its mean selfishness, its holy prayers 
and its impure deeds, its exalted bravery and its 
miserable cowardice, its glorious angelic affinities 

The Desire for Death. 1 1 5 

and its swinish appetites, all are here. God was 
not in a hurry to complete his Bible, he waited four 
thousand years ; but when he gave it to the world 
it was a real, true, brave book. It is a faithful rec- 
ord of human failure and human success. Let us 
reverently thank God for the Bible as it is, and 
not as a modern assembly of divines would have 
made it. 

The outlines of a strange and unexpected picture 
are sketched for us by the text. Not that there is 
any thing passing strange in a man becoming dis- 
gusted with himself, growing weary of human life, 
and wanting once for all to rid himself of its duties 
and responsibilities, its sorrows and burdens. Not 
alone in the wilderness of Southern Judea, in a re- 
mote age, among an alien people ; but now, to-day, 
here in America, men are crying, " It is enough. 
Now, O Lord, take away my life. The sin is 
enough, the suffering is enough, the ignorance, the 
struggle, the toil, the pain is enough, the darkness 
is enough, the failure is enough. Let me die. Re- 
lease me from the strife and pain and defeat." No ! 
There is nothing remarkably strange in all this. 
But that Elijah wanted to die, that Elijah grew 
weary of life, that Elijah should flee from duty, that 
Elijah should play the coward, that Elijah should 
distrust God, that he who had defied Ahab face to 
face, dictating his own terms ; that he who had 
boldly confronted the four hundred and fifty priests 
of Baal on Mt. Carmel, and put them all to death ; 
that this man, who by a word had called down fire 

u6 Christian Manliness. 

from heaven, should flee at the threat of a heathen 
woman, and should throw himself under a juniper- 
tree and ask for death, confessing that he was no 
better than his fathers, all this is strange and unex- 
pected. Elijah, then, was a man after all. He, too, 
had his weak, despondent, faithless hours. He, too, 
grew weary of the toil and strife. Like ourselves, 
he thought the evil in himself and the world too 
great to be conquered. " It is enough ; now, O 
Lord, take away my life." We see, then, that Eli- 
jah belonged to a humanity like our own. He was 
not a celestial, but a human, being. I am glad, not 
that Elijah failed at a critical hour, not that he be- 
came disheartened, weary of himself and the world, 
and wanted to die ; but that when he did do so the 
Bible was brave enough to tell us of it. That one 
experience unites us all to Elijah. We have our 
hours of discouragement and flight. We, too, grow 
faithless. We, too, would fain seek the rest of 
death. Let us not on this account judge ourselves 
too swiftly or too harshly. A great prophet, yea, 
one of the greatest of the prophets, did the like be- 
fore us ; and as there was hope and recovery, and sub- 
sequent work for him, so there may be hope and res- 
toration and new life for us. Let us not forget that 
true Christian progress is made by a divine forget- 
ting of the past. 

Why did Elijah want to die? What were the 
causes of his weakness and hopelessness ? There 
are two probable reasons for his exceptional con- 

The Desire for Death. 1 17 

First, it may have been because his sublime vic- 
tory on Mt. Carmel was not instantly followed by 
as great results as he ardently desired. Ahab, the 
Jewish king of Samaria, was married to Jezebel, a 
heathen princess. This woman had overthrown the 
religion of the Jews, and had introduced the wor- 
ship of Baal and Astarte. The whole land was 
overrun with idolatry. The aim of Elijah was to 
overthrow Baalism and restore monotheism. His 
prophetic soul burned with indignation against the 
impure religion of the Phenicians, and he longed to 
see the people restored to their ancient spiritual faith 
in one unseen, almighty, eternal God. On Mt. Car- 
mel, God had answered his simple, earnest prayer, 
and the people had shouted, " The Lord, he is the 
God ! The Lord, he is the God ! " Doubtless, Eli- 
jah expected that this was but the beginning of a 
series of splendid miracles, which should have their 
final issue in the utter extirpation of the foreign 
idolatry. But he was disappointed. Things went 
on in their usual course, and the final victory 
seemed as far removed as ever. Elijah may have 
been dissatisfied with God's way of working. He 
wanted instant and complete triumph. He could 
brook no delay. His restless and eager soul de- 
manded the precipitate destruction of the religion 
of Jezebel. His despondency may have been 
caused by what he deemed the tardiness of God. 

Secondly, Elijah may have desired death simply 
because of shame at his impulsive and ignoble flight 
from Jezebel. It will be remembered that after 

1 1 8 Christian Manliness. 

Elijah's triumph over the priests of Baal he took 
them to the brook Kishon and slew four hundred 
of them there with his own hands. When Ahab 
related to Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and 
withal how he had slain all the prophets with the 
sword, she determined to wreak swift and summary 
vengeance upon him. No sooner had Ahab fin- 
ished his story than she sent a messenger to Elijah, 
saying, " So let the gods do to me, and more also, 
if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by 
to-morrow about this time." It is related that when 
Elijah "saw that," that is, when he heard of Jezebel's 
threat, " he went for his life," and came to Beer- 
sheba. Strange he never thought that God was 
stronger than the rage of this idolatrous woman. 
He doubted God, else her threat would have been 
powerless. His bitter prayer for death may have 
been extorted from him at the thought of his dis- 
trust of God. " I am no better than my fathers." 
He had honestly desired, eagerly hoped, to be 
better, but here he was — just like his fathers ; faith- 
less as they had been faithless ! Better than his 
fathers — and lo ! he had trembled and fled at the 
threat of a wicked woman! "It is enough, Lord. 
I am just like all the rest. Take away my life." 

Is it right for good men ever to desire death ? 
If so, when, and in what spirit ? If we desire death 
in the spirit of Paul, it is not culpable or blame- 
worthy. In his letter to the Corinthians Paul says : 
" We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be 
absent from the body, and to be present with the 

The Desire for Death. 119 

Lord." In his Philippian letter he says that he is 
" in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, 
and to be with Christ ; which is far better : neverthe- 
less to abide in the flesh is more needful for you." 
Paul was not a complainer. He was not an idler, 
He was not a coward. He did not desire to die 
that he might be released from labor. He was not 
weary of the battle against the evil that is in the 
world. He expressly says that his desire to depart 
and be with Christ is restrained and modified by a 
knowledge of the fact that he was still needed by 
the Church on earth. He desired death, not as a 
cessation of labor, but as an admission into a higher, 
nobler, worthier ministry. He would die only that 
he might do more and better work. He desired 
a departure out of this world that he might have 
more and fuller life. His hope was that mortality 
might be swallowed up of life. He would be un- 
clothed, only that he might be clothed upon with 
the perfect and unshadowed life of love and worship. 
In this spirit, and with these aims, it is not wrong to 
desire release from the present life. It is always 
right to seek freedom when emancipation means 

I. We are not to desire death because God does 
not work exactly after our fashion, as, perhaps, not 
as quickly as we desire him to work. The intense, 
earnest workers of this world are very prone to be- 
come impatient with God, as well as with their tardy 
fellow-workmen. They have such a sharp sense of 
the evil that is here, such a tender sympathy with 

120 Christian Manliness. 

suffering, such a burning hatred of sin, such a keen 
desire for the recovery of men to holiness and love, 
such a passionate yearning for the social and moral 
regeneration of society, that they can scarcely abide 
God's patient methods. So it was with Elijah. He 
would have God rend the heavens, and descend with 
an army of angels, utterly to consume the idolatry 
that had bewitched and lured away the Jewish peo- 
ple. He was not willing to allow space for the 
working of natural processes to wean the people 
from their accursed idolatry. Nor are we willing 
that by natural spiritual processes men shall learn 
the beauty of holiness and the deformity of sin. We 
are for precipitating things. We are for demanding 
the employment of supernatural power where natu- 
ral power, where natural agencies only, can finally and 
effectually avail. God works slowly, but he does 
his work well. When once he has completed a task 
it is done forever. We are impatient because we 
have but a morsel of time in which to work. Not 
so with him. He is the Father of the everlasting 
ages. A thousand years in his sight are but as yes- 
terday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 
His mills grind exceeding slow, but they grind ; and 
they grind exceeding fine. We are to do that part 
of the work which God has allotted to us humbly, 
lovingly, thoroughly, and then, with a serene and 
unquestioning faith, we are to leave the results with 
him. You and your work and this world are safe 
with God. 

II. We are not to desire death because we have 

The Desire for Death. 1 2 1 

failed in some trial-hour, because we have ignobly 
fled when we should have bravely stood, because 
our high, fine, noble ideals lie withered and dying 
at our feet. His contact with Jezebel was the trial- 
hour of Elijah's life. In that hour, of all hours, he 
should have stood firm and steadfast. But he 
yielded and fled. There come like trial-hours to all 
of us. We may not be aware of their approach, 
and we may not fully comprehend all that is wrapped 
up in them. They may even seem insignificant to 
us. They are, nevertheless, the real trial-hours of 
our lives. They test us. They try what sort of 
stuff we are made of. They touch the core of our 
manhood. How many of us go down in these 
hours ! How many of us are unable to stand the 
testing process ! The bait of evil is too glittering 
and seductive for all the manhood we have, and we 
bite — to find but an empty hook. 

With what high, pure, lofty ideals did we all begin 
life ! Like Elijah, we were determined to be better 
than our fathers. Where now are our high pur- 
poses, our chivalric aims, our holy resolves? We 
have dragged them down, and they are covered with 
the common dust of life. It is when men be- 
come sadly conscious of these things that they run 
away from the unfulfilled tasks of life, and, dis- 
couraged and despondent, ask God for death. But 
these are not the hours in which we should desire 
to die. It is not when he has proven recreant to 
his high duty that the soldier is to ask for his dis- 
charge from the army. Rather he should then, with 

122 Christian Manliness. 

tears, if need be, beseech his commander to send him 
back to the most difficult and dangerous post, that 
by his future courageous fidelity he may shame and 
retrieve the cowardice of the past. Not in hours 
that follow failure and recreancy and sin are we to 
desire death. Then most fervently should we be- 
seech God for a new lease of life and a fresh trial, 
that we may atone for the guilty and bitter past by 
the more noble and valorous action of the future. 

III. We are not to desire death because we think 
we have suffered enough. What an army of suf- 
ferers God has in this world ! If they were to march 
past us this morning, what an array of anguish they 
would present. Think of the blind, of the deaf, of 
the dumb, of the deformed, of the crippled, of the 
weak, of the hopeless invalids ! How many are suf- 
fering from physical causes! How many who are 
never free from pain ! How many are slowly 
coughing their lives away! How many wasting 
with fevers ! How many are outcasts from society 
through no fault of their own ! How many who 
are suffering the stings of grinding poverty! How 
many are torn and rent with hideous doubts ! How 
many parents' hearts are gashed with sorrow at the 
moral recreancy of their children ! How many men 
are broken down at the very threshold of life, its 
golden prizes seemingly just within their grasp ! 
How many weary hearts are saying to-day, " It is 
enough ; now, O Lord, take away my life ! " How 
many white-faced sufferers are looking up to heaven, 
praying God to release them ! How many sightless 

The Desire for Death. 123 

eye-balls are longing for that land where the Lord 
God shall give them light ! How many fiercely 
tempted, fiend-goaded souls are seeking with unut- 
terable longing a city far, far above the assoilments 
of sin. Ye penitent, suffering, struggling souls, 
judge not too swiftly your wise and compassionate 
Father. Not the marble, but the sculptor, is to judge 
of the finished work. "Whom the Lord loveth he 
chasteneth." God will soon deal the last stroke, the 
work will be done, and the beauty of the Lord your 
God shall be upon you forever! 

It was well for Elijah that God did not answer 
his impulsive and passionate prayer. The time and 
manner of his death were better in the divine hands 
than in his own gloomy and despondent thoughts. 
God had large and noble work for him to do, and 
right well did he do it. The lonely and discouraged 
prophet was guided to the solemn and majestic 
Horeb, and there, amid its awful solitudes, he 
learned that there were seven thousand that had 
not bowed the knee, and that God was in the still 
small voice, as well as in the thunder and tempest 
and earthquake and whirlwind and fire. And then, 
when his work was done at last, the chariot of fire 
and horses of fire came to take him ; " and Elijah 
went up by a whirlwind into heaven." 

Let us not seek to appoint the hour when we 
would cease our terrestrial life and work. Let God 
choose the time and surroundings for our departure. 
We may have despondent hours, gloomy hours, 
faithless hours. Let us not hastily and impetuously 

124 Christian Manliness. 

desire death in them. God reserves better, braver, 
worthier hours for us. In them let us die — or, rather, 
in them let us be crowned : for that which we call 
death is but a translation from darkness to light, 
from unsatisfied yearning to perpetual fruition, 
from time and toil and men to eternal life in God ! 

Identification of Divinity with Humanity. 1 2 5 


For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. — 
Heb. ii, 11. 

THERE need be no misinterpretation of the teach- 
ing of the text and its connections. Jesus Christ, 
more than man, higher than angel, an altogether 
extraordinary and unique Being, one who thought 
it not robbery to be equal with the Highest, volun- 
tarily took upon himself our nature, became in very 
deed subject to the conditions and limitations under 
which men live, that he might rescue them from sin 
and vitally unite them to God. " For both he that 
sanctifleth and they who are sanctified are all of 
one," that is, of one nature, experience, order of 
development — the nature, experience, and order of 
development of the one being precisely similar to 
the nature, experience, and order of development 
of the other. " For which cause," that is, on which 
account, because of this likeness, this identity, of 
nature and experience, "he," that is, Jesus, "is not 
ashamed to call them brethren." Jesus openly and 
conspicuously recognized his brotherhood with man 
in distinct, positive, and unmistakable terms. His 
message to the disciples on the resurrection morn- 
ing through Mary was, " Go to my brethren, and 

126 Christian Manliness. 

say unto them, I ascend to my Father and your 
Father, and to my God and your God." So, also, 
in that remarkable discourse which is contained in 
the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew: " Inasmuch 
as ye have done it unto one of the least of these 
my brethren, ye have done it unto me." We see 
thus how completely, and at every point, Jesus 
joined himself to human nature. The text 
raises for our consideration the high and grate- 
ful theme of the identification of Divinity with 

He who is here spoken of as the Sanctifier, and 
as of one nature with the sanctified, is described in 
terms that endow him with the sole and peculiar 
attributes of Divinity. In the opening of this epis- 
tle we are told that God, who had heretofore spoken 
to men by the prophets^ has in these last days 
spoken unto us by his Son. This Son is declared 
to be appointed Heir of all things, and to be the 
Person through whom the worlds were made. He 
is said to uphold all things by the word of his power, 
and to be the brightness of the Father's glory and 
the express image of his person. He is compared 
with men, and is set far above them. He is com- 
pared with angels, and is lifted transcendently above 
them in nature, dignity, authority, and power; yea, 
the angels of God are commanded to worship him. 
Thus we see Jesus exalted in every conceivable 
way by every form of language, by the possession 
of the most supernal and divine attributes, until, as 
he is raised from height to height, touching at last 

Identification of Divinity with Humanity. 127 

the very summit of the uncreated life, we are con- 
strained to cry out with Thomas, " My Lord and 
my God." Then it is, when he is raised to the 
highest point of his exaltation, when he is carried 
up to the very apex of being, then it is that he is 
described as entering upon his mighty humiliation ; 
then it is that he is pictured as assuming our nature 
and entering upon the actual experience of human 
life, work, temptation, suffering, and death. " We 
see Jesus, who was made for a little while inferior 
to the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned 
with glory and honor ; that he by the grace of God 
should taste death for every man." He is said to 
have come to the moral leadership of the race, in 
other words, to have been " perfected," through 
sufferings, and through such sufferings as are com- 
mon to men. As the children were " partakers of 
flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part 
of the same." He became obedient unto death, 
" that through death he might destroy him that had 
the power of death, that is, the devil ; and deliver 
them who through fear of death were all their life- 
time subject to bondage." He rejected the nature 
and estate of angels, and took upon him the seed 
of Abraham. In order that he might be a merciful 
and faithful High-priest, he was in ALL THINGS 
made like unto his brethren. We see in the clear, 
revealing, concentered light of this teaching how 
real, how complete and thorough-going was the 
union of Divinity and humanity in the person of 
Jesus Christ. " For both he that sanctifieth and 

128 Christian Manliness. 

they who are sanctified are all of one : for which 
cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." 

The grateful perfume of heaven is on this pas- 
sage. It is richly odorous of the skies. Like the 
fresh, dewy tuberose by the bedside of the wan in- 
valid, it suggests the whole garden of flowers from 
which it came. It is as a branch of the great tree 
of life, hanging so low as to be within reach of 
men's hands, that they may pluck and eat and 
live ! 

If, now, the question be asked, Why this amaz- 
ing condescension of Divinity, and its intimate 
union with humanity? the final and sufficient an- 
swer is to be found in God's mighty love and tender 
compassion for man. This sacrificial condescension 
and humiliation was born, not of wrath or hatred, 
nor of any supposed governmental necessity, but 
of the free, the boundless grace and kindness of God 
our Father. Why does a mother enter into real, 
not simulated, sympathy with her little child, bear- 
ing its sorrows, carrying its infirmities, sharing its 
joys? Because of the mother-love that is in her. 
So God, impelled by his love, becomes one with 
man, sharing our human estate and condition in all 
things save sin. 

I. The truth of this passage reveals the precise 
point at which, and with how great fullness, Chris- 
tianity meets and answers the deepest and strongest 
yearnings, the unappeasable hunger, of the human 
heart. " Where is God, that we may find him?" 
This is the universal question of time. It is as an- 

Identification of Divinity with Humanity. 129 

cient as Job. "O that I knew where I might find 
him; that I might come even to his seat: I would 
order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with 
arguments." The thinker, perplexed with life's 
enigmas, has asked, Where is He ? Likewise the 
doer, the sufferer, the slave, the guilty penitent, the 
oppressed, the lonely and sorrow-burdened, all alike 
have asked, Where is He? 

Man has ever been pursued by the thought that 
God, alike by the quality and the volume of his 
nature, is widely, possibly impassably, separated 
from us. Hence the feeling that only by the in- 
terposition of an anointed priest, or of an infallible 
Church, or of a bleeding sacrifice, or by gloomy aus- 
terities, can man traverse the wide and desolate 
wastes, and draw near to God. This, in epitome, 
is the history of man's efforts to effect a union of 
Divinity and humanity ; namely, an age-long strug- 
gle to carry our frail, imperfect, temptable humanity 
up to Divinity. 

Observe how Christianity meets this want, feeds 
this hunger, of our hearts. God is already nigh us, 
if we would but receive him. He is not far from 
any one of us, if haply we would seek for him. 
Divinity is close to humanity. There is a reunion 
of Divinity and humanity, not by the slow, labored, 
difficult, perilous ascent of humanity to Divinity, 
but by the descent of Divinity to humanity. In a 
word, we do not seek him so much as he seeks us. 
We do not find him so much as he finds us. We 
need not ascend on high to bring Christ down, nor 

130 Christ ia?i Manliness. 

descend into the depths to bring him up ; for he 
is already in our hearts. He has come to us, en- 
tered into our estate, partaken of our nature, been 
subject to our experiences, and is not ashamed to 
call us brethren. We need no surpliced priest, no 
ancient rite, no bleeding lamb, no charm of words, 
to come into union with him ; we need only, with 
truly penitent hearts, to turn away from our sins, 
to accept his love, and to be obedient to his words. 

Does not Christianity thus really and graciously 
discover, and amply, yea, gloriously, satisfy the 
deepest yearnings, the holiest longings, the divinest 
hunger of our hearts ? 

2. This doctrine of the identification of the Divine 
nature with man's nature gives intelligent emphasis 
to the real purpose and the true mission of the 
Church in the world. What is the Church? What 
does it exist for? A society of men and women 
who acknowledge with their lips, and who seek to 
realize in their spiritual life, the union of Divinity 
and humanity. The Church has for its highest, its 
special and distinctive, object the revelation to the 
world of this experimental knowledge of God ! It 
is not of the nature of a co-operative insurance soci- 
ety. It is not a social club. It is not a Sunday 
lectureship on ethics, or the philosophy of religion. 
It is not a jealously guarded hospital, into which no 
patient can be admitted without correctly answering 
a long list of hypothetical or merely technical ques- 
tions. The Church is a society of men and women 
confessing the union of God with man, recognizing 

Identification of Divinity zvii J i Humanity. 131 

the actual brotherhood of Jesus with all men, and 
hence the brotherhood of all men with each other; 
and it seeks to make this union and this brother- 
hood real and vital, actual and potent. 

How, then, may we ascertain the existence of a 
genuine Christian Church in the community? Not 
by any external or ceremonial or intellectual sign or 
symbol, but by the discovery of a society of people 
who know God and have received his life. How 
would you prove to a man shivering with the cold 
on a bleak December day that there is fire in your 
stove ? The quickest and surest way would be to 
bring him near enough to your stove to feel the 
heat. Heat is the best possible proof of fire, and 
there is no surer or more convincing evidence of 
the reality and nearness of heat than to feel the 

3. As, in the far and wide-revealing light of this 
Divine teaching, we see the folly, the ingratitude, 
and the loss of those who separate themselves from 
God, so, on the other hand, do we see the liberation 
and enfranchisement, the honor and glory of the 
soul that seeks the union of its life with God. What 
is a sinner? Passing by the ordinary definitions, let 
us try to answer in the light of the text. He is one 
who has separated himself from God ; he is one 
who refuses the present union of his nature with 
divinity. What folly, misery, ingratitude, loss ! 
What shall we say of the branch which, restive and 
impatient, severs itself from the vine? What 
would we think of this earth of ours crowing im- 

132 Christian Manliness. 

patient of its dependence on gravity, unfastening 
itself from law and order, swinging out of its orbit, 
casting off its allegiance to the sun? The degra- 
dation of the prodigal feeding the swine consists in 
this : that he was made for better things, and threw 
them away himself. Our subject teaches us that 
man was made for blessed union with God, and 
when he separates, divorces, cuts himself off from 
divinity, we see in a new light the folly, the guilt, 
the misery, and the degradation of the sinful life. 

Men sometimes resent appeals to enter upon the 
life of obedience to God, as though the act involved 
something humiliating, unmanly, weak, and dishon- 
orable. The glory of the self-willed, wandering, 
outcast child is its return to its old home and its 
old obedience. The prodigal honors and enfran- 
chises himself when he sets his conscience toward 
duty, his heart toward his father, his face toward 
home. See the wandering globe, tired of its willful, 
zigzag, eccentric course, returning to its orbit of 
harmony and order. As men dishonor themselves 
when they cut loose from God, so they honor them- 
selves when they return to him. He is our home. 
He is the source of our life, light, righteousness, and 
love. See yonder Prince, anciently and honorably 
descended, heir to a throne and a kingdom, clothed 
in filthy, tattered raiment, despising his birthright, 
madly refusing the royal purple offered him, stamp- 
ing it in the filth with angry feet ! Is he dishonored 
when he throws away his rags, accepts the purple, 
and starts for his throne and scepter? 

Identification of Divinity with Humanity. 133 

" For which cause he is not ashamed to call them 
brethren." He who once had not where to lay his 
head is now set down at the right hand of God, 
clothed with power and authority and majesty in- 
effable ! He who once was despised and rejected 
of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, 
is now raised far above all principality, and power, 
and might, and dominion, and every name that is 
named, not only in this world, but also in that which 
is to come, and on his brow, thorn-pierced no more, 
is set the lustrous diadem of the universe. He has 
been glorified with the glory that he had with the 
Father before the worlds were. I know not the 
measure, the quality, the fullness, the manifoldness 
of that glory. I may not count the number of 
those who stand in his presence, forever released 
from evil, and ignorance, and imperfection, and 
struggle, and pain, and loss, and death. To me it is 
not given to know the rapture of their devotion, 
the fervor of their worship, the purity of their love, 
the sweep of their song, the high nobility of their 
tireless work. There before Him, order after order, 
rank on rank, hierarchy above hierarchy, they flame, 
and worship, and adore, and serve —angels and 
archangels, cherubim and seraphim, principalities 
and powers, thrones and dominions. I know not 
the breadth, or length, or wealth, or splendor, or 
power, or security of that city of which he is the 
king — its streets of pure gold, its walls of jasper, its 
gates of pearl, into which pour the honor and glory 
of the nations ; a city which has no need of the sun 

134 Christian Manliness. 

or the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God 
does lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof. 
The full, unshaded blaze of his resplendent, eternal 
glory would blind our poor, weak eyes, but, though 
I cannot now see the King in his beauty, in the 
land that is far off, this I know : that as he beholds 
this rolling globe, speeding through the vast and 
silent spaces, carrying its burden of guilt and mys- 
tery and tears, with its myriads of sinning, suffering, 
struggling, yearning men, He is not ashamed, even 
in that high presence, and amid the radiance of 
that ample and unwasting splendor, to turn his 
eyes hitherward, and say, " Yonder, YONDER, are my 
brethren ! " He is not ashamed of his brotherhood 
with us. Shall we, how dare we, be ashamed of 
our brotherhood with Him ? Confess it, yield to it, 
live in it, rejoice in it, work and suffer and die in 
it, be ennobled and purified and exalted by it this 
day, and forever. 

Encouragement to Missionary Zeal. 13$ 


According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, 
What hath God wrought ! — Num. xxiii, 23. 

I WISH to speak to you, from these words, on 
modern progress as an incentive to missionary zeal. 

The definite, comprehensive aim of the modern 
missionary enterprise is the complete, universal tri- 
umph of Christianity. It will be the moral subju- 
gation of the entire race. It is nothing short of the 
recovery to spiritual manhood, after the lofty and 
perfect model furnished by Jesus Christ, of all 
dwellers upon this globe. This great end will not 
be reached when all heathen countries shall have 
outwardly and nominally received Christianity as En- 
gland or the United States have received it. When 
all moral beings that live on this globe shall have 
voluntarily and joyously accepted Jesus Christ as a 
Divine Saviour, and shall have entirely submitted 
themselves to his rule of life, the triumph of the 
missionary enterprise is assured. 

There is nowhere furnished us a surer test of 
Christian faith, devotion, and enthusiasm than just 
here. It is precisely at this point that we find even 
in Christian hearts the most secret and dangerous 
obstacle to the cause of Christian missions. The 
enterprise seems so vast, inclusive, and far-reaching, 

136 Christian Manliness. 

involving, as it does, governments, nations, and 
centuries; the work seems so intricate, so complex, 
so difficult, so slow, so stupendous, that, in spite of 
ourselves, certain undefined, secret, benumbing 
doubts are engendered, even in loyal, earnest Chris- 
tian hearts. It is to be feared that, with any thing 
like an intelligent knowledge of what is really con- 
templated by the great missionary enterprise, few 
of us have ever found our faith equal to a clear, 
steady, and ardent acceptance of the sublime triumph. 
It is my purpose to take a recent period of human 
history, and show, by its wonderful progress in all 
the various elements of a sound, enduring civiliza- 
tion, that the end at which we aim is actually pos- 
sible of accomplishment ; yea, that these conspic- 
uous developments of history clearly, irresistibly 
demonstrate that we are the subjects of a large 
and beneficent law of progress ; that the obvious, 
actual, undisputed facts of the history of the last 
four hundred years do furnish Christian faith the 
greatest possible encouragement to believe in the 
ultimate triumph of the missionary cause. 

First, as to the facts. The actual condition of the 
so-called Christian world toward the close of the 
fifteenth century, or four hundred years ago, say i486, 
or just six years before Columbus discovered Amer- 
ica, is scarcely realizable by men of the present time. 
The physical, social, political, intellectual, and moral 
condition of the continent of Europe at that time 
was indeed wretched and deplorable. The popu- 
lation of the entire continent had scarcely doubled 

Encouragement to Missionary Zeal. 137 

in one thousand years, and the death-rate was one 
in twenty-five. Physicians and their remedies were 
derided and depressed, and the vain and fantastic 
virtues of shrine-cure were extravagantly extolled. 
The great cities were without sewers, without lamps 
at night, without any efficient or rational sanitary 
or police regulations. The war-like nobles and the 
powerful prelates lived in idleness, splendor, volup- 
tuousness, and luxury. The people were every-where 
sunk in sloth, ignorance, filth, poverty, and crime. 
In Paris and London the houses were of wood 
daubed with clay, and thatched with straw and 
reeds. Carpets were an unknown luxury. No at- 
tempts were made at drainage, but the putrefying 
garbage and rubbish were simply thrown out of the 
door or window, very often to the great discomfort 
of the luckless passer-by. In 1430, Pope Pius II. 
visited the British Isles, and the journal he kept on 
his travels is preserved to this day in the library of 
the Vatican. He describes the houses of the peas- 
antry as constructed of stones put together without 
mortar, the roofs were of turf, and a stiffened bull's 
hide served for a door. The food consisted of coarse 
vegetable products, such as raw peas, and often the 
bark of trees. In some places they were unac- 
quainted with bread. A man was considered to be in 
circumstances of great ease if he could afford to have 
fresh meat once a week for his dinner. The social 
bonds were every-where relaxed, and a gross and 
terrible licentiousness prevailed in all ranks of so- 
ciety. Science was necromancy, chemistry was al- 

138 Christian Manliness. 

chemy, astronomy was astrology, philosophy was a 
fatuous search after the stone that would turn every- 
thing into gold, and religion had largely become a 
most wretched and execrable superstition. Genuine 
scientific study was almost unknown, while the 
few votaries of science to be found were denounced 
as heretics, apostates, or infidels. Intellectual torpor 
and stagnation every-where existed, except in the 
immediate vicinity of the monasteries and universi- 
ties. The art of printing was comparatively crude 
and imperfect. There were no railways, no tele- 
graphs, no steam-printing presses, no newspapers, 
no cheap books, NO SCHOOLS FOR THE PEOPLE. 
The bodies and labor and time of men belonged to 
the king, while their intellects and consciences were 
owned by the pope and his ministers. Kings reigned 
by divine right, and the pope was the vice-gefent of 
Almighty God. To question the sovereignty of 
either in their respective realms was swift and cer- 
tain death. The shameless practice of selling in- 
dulgences was confessed to be the most lucrative 
source of revenue to the see of St. Peter. Tyranny 
and superstition in the sacred name of religion had 
combined their energies to rob and oppress the 
people, and the day ot their enlightenment, liber- 
ty, and enfranchisement seemed indefinitely post- 

Let us seek to give our brief summary of histor- 
ical facts artistic grouping, to the end that they 
may make a more striking and vivid impression on 
the mind, and that they may be the longer remem- 

Encouragement to Missionary Zeal. 139 

bered. It is one of those lovely evenings which 
Italy alone furnishes ; for, no sun is brighter, no 
skies are bluer, no airs are softer than those of 
Italy — the land of classic memories, the land of elo- 
quence, music, poetry, and song. The windows of 
the Vatican are open to catch any freshening breeze 
that may blow from the Mediterranean. Gathered 
in a magnificent drawing-room are his holiness, the 
blessed Innocent VIII., and his cardinals, with a 
royal visitor or two, perhaps Henry VII. of England. 
Suddenly, without a word of warning, without a 
single premonition, as Nathan unbidden appeared 
before David, as the lone and terrible Elijah rose up 
in the way before Ahab in his golden chariot, a bold 
prophet in strange, startling attire, his eyes glowing 
with the light divine, stands in their presence to 
announce the course of events in the next four cent- 
uries. Startled, bewildered, paralyzed with a strange 
fear, they listen in silence. Nothing could have 
seemed more unreal than the burden of his proph- 
ecy. He prophesied that before the close of the 
nineteenth century, or within the four hundred 
years, the pope should lose more than one third of 
his spiritual children ; that all truly intelligent men 
would regard with ill-concealed scorn the spurious 
miracles of the Dark Ages; that an Augustinian monk 
of Germany, then a babe of three years, would for- 
ever sunder theChurch in twain ; that the pope should 
be entirely divested of his temporal power and be 
restricted to the exercise of his purely spiritual 

functions ; that the spherical form of the earth and 

140 Christian Manliness. 

its daily revolution round the sun would be convinc- 
ingly demonstrated ; that the poor man would travel 
faster in his day than noblemen could five hundred 
years ago ; that the light in the poor man's house 
would be superior to that of the king's palace; that 
for a trifling sum he would have better pictures of 
his wife and child than kings then possessed ; that 
the right of the many to tax the entire community 
in order that the blessing of public education might 
every-where open the doors of opportunity and 
hope to struggling, aspiring men would be generally 
acknowledged ; that men should travel on land with 
ease, rapidity, and safety at the rate of forty miles 
per hour ; that iron vessels, propelled by steam, 
should cross vast oceans in a week ; that daily news- 
papers should be circulated by the million, contain- 
ing news from all quarters of the globe received 
during the previous twenty-four hours by electric 
telegraph ; that a plain, humble, prayerful, studious 
man was even then alive, and begging his way from 
one European court to another, who, after incredi- 
ble toils and perils, should discover the western 
world ; that there should be developed in this newly 
discovered world a mighty republic, surpassing, in 
its marvelous growth, expansion, and prosperity, all 
the golden dreams of sages, poets, and reformers ; 
that this republic should be forever free from all 
ecclesiastical control and dictation; that in 1880 its 
population should be over fifty millions, but five 
millions of whom should in any way acknowledge 
the absurd pretensions of the pope ; that the birth 

Encouragement to Missionary Zeal. 141 

of this republic should be brought about by the re- 
volt of English colonists against the cruel and short- 
sighted tyranny of George III., a king of England, 
and that, by the dawn of the twentieth century of 
this era, progress in science, democracy in govern- 
ment, liberty in politics, toleration in religion, and 
unfettered investigation of the truth should be axi- 
omatic truths among all truly civilized men ! What 
a prophet ! And what a prophecy ! How the 
prophecy would be scorned and derided ! And 
what short work they would have made of such a 
prophet ! How unnatural, yea, how almost impos- 
sible, would many of these things have seemed to 
these men ! We live to know that these prophecies 
have been amply and gloriously fulfilled ; that in 
casting the horoscope of the future our prophet did 
not utter a single idle word or indulge in one ex- 
travagant promise. 

Let us take a little closer and more searching 
glance at the astonishing, the almost incredible, in- 
tellectual and moral progress of this period. Let 
us see — we are back to i486. One great intellectual 
and moral idea underlies the vast, the amazing im- 
provement or growth of modern times. That idea, 
expressed in its simplest form, is, that every man 
belongs to himself ; that every maji has the right to 
develop himself, body, intellect, conscience, according 
to his best knowledge. Martin Luther builded better 
than he knew. He was contending not merely 
against the shameless sale of indulgences by Tetzel, 
but he was doing brave battle for the sacredness and 

142 Chiistian Manliness. 

inviolability of the individual conscience. Leo X. 
stood for spiritual tyranny; for the right of Rome 
to control the minds and consciences of men. Mar- 
tin Luther stood for spiritual liberty ; for the right 
of men to culture their own minds and worship 
God as their own consciences dictated. It was this 
divine truth that gave power and victory to the Ref- 
ormation, and from thence directed the whole course 
and current of modern history. It passed, first, 
into the sphere of speculative political philosophy, 
and, thence working its way into the realm of prac- 
tical politics, it revolutionized governments. It 
stirred the peasants to rise against the barons of 
Germany. It fomented the parliamentary conflicts 
of England. It solemnly arraigned a king at the 
bar of public justice as a criminal against the peo- 
ple. It pronounced and executed the sentence of 
death against Charles I. ; drove the bigoted and ty- 
rannical James II. from his throne and his kingdom ; 
curtailed the prerogatives of the sovereign ; enlarged 
the liberties of the people, and created all those 
just and beneficent reforms which to-day constitute 
the strength and pride and glory of the British em- 
pire. It inaugurated the French Revolution — that 
immense and awful act of justice; overthrew the 
ancient aristocratic regime ; opened the eyes of the 
people to their just political rights, and made it 
possible for France, for Europe, yea, for the world 
some day to be free. It crossed the wide Atlantic 
with the Pilgrim fathers in the cabin of the May- 
flower, and found a congenial home amid the wilds 

Encouragement to Missionary Zeal. 143 

of the New World. It strengthened the hearts of 
our forefathers for the revolutionary struggle. It 
fired the first shot at Lexington, that " alarm gun 
of the world." It fought the battles of Concord and 
Bunker Hill, inspired the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and dictated the imperishable sentiment that 
" all men are born and created free and equal ; that 
they are endowed by their Creator with certain in- 
alienable rights, and that among these are life, lib- 
erty, and the pursuit of happiness." 

The time and our purpose forbid any tarrying 
for the consideration of the general lessons here in- 
volved, much as we would delight to rest for that 
purpose. Many important and searching questions 
are decisively answered by this rapid historical sur- 
vey, which should bring cheer and hope, stimula- 
tion and courage, to every lover of his kind. What, 
however, is the lesson to the Christian ? Is there 
anything here to strengthen his faith? Is there 
any thing here to show that his God is in history ? 
Let us rather ask, Is there not here every thing to 
strengthen his faith ? to show that his God is, in- 
deed, the God of history ? Do not the actual facts 
furnish ample ground for the largest and brightest 
hopes? Do they not furnish sufficient reason for 
his faith in the final and complete victory of Chris- 
tian missions? Do not these facts show conclu- 
sively that we are under the sway of some vast, 
noble, divine law of progress? Do they not give 
the death-blow to pessimism ? Do they not show 
that " God reigns ? " What should chill our zeal, 

144 Christian Manliness. 

or dampen our ardor, or stagger our faith now? 
Where are the limits of this law ? Who shall fix its 
boundaries ? Where now is the impossibility of the 
spiritual conquest of the world by Jesus Christ? 
We dare not attempt to limit or to put a boundary 
to the discoveries, the inventions, the progress, of 
the future in material things. So, also, in the higher 
realm of ideas, conduct, thought, morals, religion. 
Do not these facts clearly show the trend? Who, 
after this review, will talk of chance or chaos, of 
there being no purpose or plan in human affairs? 
The one great lesson of all modern progress is the 
encouragement thus furnished to the Christian faith 
that the glorious Gospel of the blessed God is des- 
tined to win a universal triumph ! 

The great missionary enterprise, what is it ? The 
missionary " idea," in itself considered, is simply 
that of love seeking to bless those who need love ; 
it is love going forth from its pleasant home, lordly 
mansion, or princely palace to rescue the perishing; 
it is love seeking to provide homes for the homeless, 
friends for the friendless, help for the helpless, food 
for the starving, guides for the lost, mercy for the 
guilty, holiness for the sinful, hope for the despair- 
ing. This idea is not, indeed, peculiar to " mod- 
ern" times. It is at least as old as Christianity; for 
Jesus himself was the first great Missionary, leaving 
the glory he had with his Father before the worlds 
were, and coming here to seek and save the lost. 
Yea, it is older still. It is as old as the gracious 
and kindly thoughts of God toward weak and sin- 

Encouragement to Missionary ZeaL 145 

ful men, for, in the infinite heart of God, Jesus was 
a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world ! 
The missionary idea! Tell me when first the heart 
of God throbbed with love for the sinful and the 
guilty, the needy, the weak, and the suffering; tell 
me that, and I will tell you how old the missionary 
" idea " is ! This is the central, vitalizing idea of 
missions — love seeking the perishing, knowledge 
using itself for the ignorant, strength serving weak- 
ness, comfort relieving distress, God seeking man, 
not to condemn and smite, but to save and bless, 
him ! This is the great missionary enterprise in its 
idea, essence, spirit. It contemplates the complete 
moral conquest, the spiritual recovery, of the human 
race. This, and nothing short of this, is its glorious 
and sublime end ! This is our work, and a great, 
glorious, blessed work it is ! 

Is there no encouragement to our faith in this work 
in the growth of this four hundred years ? Does not 
" modern progress" include as one of its most signifi- 
cant facts the birth, the growth, and the triumph of 
Protestant missions? In 1792 the first Protestant 
missionary society was organized by the Baptists, 
with a subscription of less than seventy dollars. It 
was in 1788, at Northampton, that William Carey 
first attempted to rouse his brethren to their duty 
to spread the Gospel in foreign parts. In the year 
1800, there were eight feeble Protestant missionary 
societies in the whole world ! For many years this 
idea had to struggle against a mighty tide of igno- 
rance, prejudice, and selfishness in order to find 

146 Christian Manliness. 

room for itself. How wonderful has been its growth 
since the beginning of the present century ! Why, 
only last year the Protestants of Great Britain and 
this country alone gave over nine million dollars to 
the cause. All the principal heathen countries of 
the world are now penetrated by the missions of 
Christianity. At this moment, over China, India, 
Japan, Persia, Hindustan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Africa, 
Madagascar, Greenland, and the hundreds of Pacific 
isles, there are over forty thousand Christian laborers 
toiling diligently to represent unto guilty and sor- 
rowful men the glory, the beauty, and the healing 
of Christ's love. In these lands schools, colleges, 
and theological seminaries have been established, 
wherein Christian education is given to more than 
one million youths of both sexes. Outside the 
bounds of Christendom there are now established 
at least four thousand centers of Christian teaching 
and living ; more than three thousand Christian 
congregations have been gathered ; over seven hun- 
dred thousand persons are now members of the 
Christian Church, while its nominal adherents reach 
into the millions. In India and Burmah alone, there 
are eight thousand missionaries, native preachers, 
and catechists ; nearly three thousand stations and 
out-stations ; more than seventy thousand commu- 
nicants. The Baptists have made the Karens of 
Burmah a Christian people ; the American Board 
has done the same for the Sandwich Islands; the 
Moravians for Greenland ; the Wesleyans for the 
Fiji and Friendly Isles, and the English Independ- 

Encouragement to Missionary Zeal. 147 

ents for Madagascar. Consider those large and 
flourishing Christian Churches, born out of the very 
abysses of heathenism, in Australia, British Amer- 
ica, the Sandwich Islands, Northern Turkey, Persia, 
China, Madagascar, South Africa, Liberia, Sierra 
Leone, and the islands of the Pacific. The largest 
church in the world, numbering four thousand five 
hundred members, is in Hilo, on the island of Hawaii, 
not yet fifty years removed from the most debased 
savagism. Over ninety thousand Fijians gather 
regularly for Sabbath worship, who, within thirty 
years, feasted on human flesh. In i860 Madagascar 
had only a few hundred scattered and persecuted 
converts. Now the rulers of that land, with more 
than two hundred thousand of their subjects, are 
adherents of Christianity. During this century, in 
more than three hundred islands of Eastern and 
Southern Polynesia, the Gospel has swept heathen- 
ism entirely away. Ought not these facts to quicken 
our zeal, inflame our love, confirm our faith ? 

In the year 1760, in a room in Geneva, Switzer- 
land, Voltaire boastingly predicted that " before 
the beginning of the nineteenth century, Christian- 
ity will have disappeared from the earth." William 
Carey was not born until one year later, but the 
missionary spirit which was born of his holy zeal 
has filled the century with the glorious record of its 
triumphs! Since the beginning of this century 
Protestantism alone has established hundreds of 
foreign mission stations, it has gathered an army of 
lay helpers numbering more than 35,000, it counts 

148 Christian Manliness. 

its communicants by the hundred thousand, and 
its nominal adherents by the million ! In less than 
eighty years over 160,000,000 copies, in whole or 
in part, of the word of God have been scattered 
abroad — a number " thirty times as great as existed 
in all the previous thirty-three centuries since the 
law was given on Mount Sinai." The very room 
in which Voltaire uttered his vain prophecy is now 
a Bible depository, while the glorious Gospel of 
Christ, gathering to itself all increments of power, 
strong in the irresistible might of God, goes forth 
conquering and to conquer, until the whole earth 
shall rejoice in his salvation ! 

" Watchman, tell us of the night; 

Higher yet that star ascends. 
Traveler, blessedness and light, 

Peace and truth, its course portends ! 
Watchman, will its beams alone 

Gild the spot that gave them birth ! 
Traveler, ages are its own, 

See, it bursts o'er all the earth ! " 

The Great King in Disguise. 149 


Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the 
purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man ! — 
John xix, 5. 

In the days of the Augustan empire, it was the 
custom of the Roman governors of Judea annually 
to release a prisoner to the people at the time of 
the Passover feast. Pontius Pilate sought to shield 
himself behind this precedent in his temporizing 
and cowardly effort to escape from a plain duty. 
In his fatal and guilty perplexity, he invited the 
people to ask him to release unto them the prisoner 
at his judgment seat, Jesus, the King of the Jews. 
Pilate found, as all men of like character find sooner 
or later to their cost, that, when face to face with a 
clear and undisputed duty, hesitation, indirection, 
evasive and circuitous courses lead to deeper en- 
tanglements and greater sin, for at once the crowd, 
instigated by the eager and wily priests and scribes, 
cried, saying, " Not this man, but Barabbas. Now 
Barabbas was a robber." 

Then it was that the supreme indignity and cru- 
elty of a Roman scourging was inflicted on Jesus. 
As their manner was, he was stripped to the waist, 
and tied to a pillar or post in a stooping posture, 
and was beaten by the pitiless soldiers with a cord 
of knotted rope or of plated leather thongs, armed 

150 Christian Manliness. 

at the end with sharp pieces of bone or small jagged 
drops of lead. It not unfrequently happened that 
the unfortunate victim perished while undergo- 
ing this horrible torture, or sank insensible before 
his tormentors, a scarcely recognizable mass of 
bruised, bleeding, quivering flesh. However much 
our reverence and love would incline us to hope the 
contrary, we may be sure that the full quota of 
stripes was laid upon the body of Jesus, for Jewish 
prisoners were specially distasteful to Roman sol- 
diers, and his refusal to make any answer to the 
governor concerning the accusations brought against 
him would tend still further to exasperate the brutal 
guards. The cruel act completed, the rough, un- 
feeling legionaries led the stooping, bleeding Victim 
into the great hall of the governor's house, and, re- 
membering that he had been called a king, they 
threw over him a faded soldier's cloak, sometimes of 
scarlet, sometimes of purple, as a rude burlesque of 
the rich and splendid purple one worn by the Roman 
emperors. With some twigs of the thorny Nubk 
bush, growing hard by, they improvised a mock 
laurel-wreath like that worn on public occasions by 
the Caesars, and pressed down its close, sharp thorns 
on his temples, the blood meanwhile trickling down 
his face ! They forced into his trembling hand a 
long reed, in mockery of the scepters held by kings, 
and then they gave full vent to their grim and awful 
humor. They kneeled before him in derision, say- 
ing, " Hail, King of the Jews." Then they took the 
reed from his hand and smote him on the face and 

The Great King in Disguise. 151 

head, and as well with the palms of their hands, while 
some, indulging their coarse contempt to the full, spit 
upon him. Thus they mocked and scorned and jeered 
and derided him, until even their violence and brutal- 
ity finally wore itself out, and during it all the di- 
vine Sufferer murmured not, nor spake a single word. 
The depth and patience and majesty of his solitary 
anguish seems to have touched the stern heart of 
Pilate, for, seeing him thus, he determined to make 
one more effort to save his life. He went forth 
again to the fierce, angry, vengeful crowd, ordering 
Jesus at the same time to be brought forth with 
him, wearing the scarlet cloak, crowned with thorns, 
covered with the vile proofs of contempt and vio- 
lence, and tottering with extreme pain and weak- 
ness. " Behold, I bring him before you once more. 
The scourging has not extorted a single word of 
confession from him. I find no fault in him at all." 
And then, as though he would appeal to their com- 
passion, he said, " Behold the Man ? " And what did 
they behold ? A figure bent by the scourging, in- 
vested with the garments and insignia of mock roy- 
alty, a pale, worn, and bleeding face — the thorn- 
crowned Man of sorrows ! And what did the angels 
behold ? What did they behold who dwell in the 
overhanging spiritual realm, their eyes so purged 
from earthly grossness as that they may see the course 
and issues of the eternal realities? They saw the 
Son of the Highest, by the word of whose power the 
worlds are upheld, and in virtue of whom all things 
consist, meekly enduring all this scorn and con- 

152 Christian Manliness. 

tumely and mockery and insult, giving the utter- 
most proof of his holy and tender love for men, the 
light of the knowledge of the glory of God shining 
in his face, and the vast dominion of the unending 
ages stretching away in resplendent glory before 
him ! 

But the pathetic spectacle moved not to mercy 
or pity his fierce and unrelenting persecutors. They 
were hounding him to the death. Their thirst was 
for blood. They were priests, and priestly cruelty, 
like the grave, is cold, hard, pitiless, insatiable. The 
greedy blood-hunger of a fanatical and persecuting 
priesthood, no more than the ravenous grave, has 
ever yet, in any time or land, said, " Enough, 
enough ! " Religious hate is a passion easily aroused, 
but when once it has gained the complete control 
of a man, a sect, or a party it can be effectually laid 
only by the strong, resistless hand of Almighty God. 
" When the chief priests therefore and the officers 
saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify 

1. As Pilate to these Jews, so God perpetually, 
by various voices, is saying to every man born in a 
Christian land, trained amid Christian influences, 
" Behold the Man ! " Whether we will or no, we 
must hear that voice, we must look at the great 
King in disguise. In childhood, in youth, in vigor- 
ous manhood, in halting age, in every period and 
circumstance of life, it speaks to our hearts. We 
cannot drown that Voice, we cannot hide that 
Face, from our eyes. Hear we must, look we 

The Great King in Disguise. 153 

must, until the last choice is made by which we 
elect our spiritual, eternal destiny. We may 
fill our eyes with other visions, the strife and 
clamor and din of the world may seal our 
ears against the celestial voices, but there will be 
times, occasions, experiences when this voice will 
strangely hush all other sounds, and we will hear 
distinctly and solemnly the penetrating words, " Be- 
hold the Man ! " We may not choose to look upon 
this worn and bleeding face, we may even strive to 
put far from us the visage that was marred more 
than the sons of men, but there will be hours when 
all visions of splendor and beauty and pleasure and 
power and ambition and wealth will be swept clean 
away, and between our souls and eternity nothing 
will remain but the Man of sorrows appealing for 
our love and obedience. 

2. As with these Jews, so \\ ith. us, we must ac- 
cept him as our King, or reject him, and send him 
to the cross. One of the accusations brought against 
him was, " He makes himself a King." Yes, he is 
a King. To the Jews a false king; to the Romans 
a mock king, but to us he is, and must forever re- 
main, a real King. As we behold him, shall we ac- 
cept him? A King we must have, will have, DO 
have. The question is not, Shall we have a King? 
but, Who shall be our King? Known by various 
names are the kings that rule men, but every man, 
first and last, owns a king. It may be pleasure, or 
ambition, or wealth, or power, but something we do 
have. Is he not a worthy King? Is he not our 

154 Christian Manliness. 

only worthy King? He stood there a King, the 
King of his own spirit and life and kingdom. Con- 
trast him with Pilate and the Jews. They were 
slaves, hirelings, cowards. Was he not a real King ? 

The postponement of his claims is equivalent to 
a temporary rejection of them. What is it but the 
spirit and purpose on our part to serve one or the 
other of these false kings for a season, and at our 
own leisure to turn and embrace the service of the 
true King? 

Christ is sent to the cross every time men reject 
him when he is truly and persuasively presented to 
them. Who are his crucifiers? Who are they who 
send him to the cross ? They who are satisfied to 
live the life of grossness, baseness, sordidness, self- 
ishness, and the malign passions of the mind, and 
to refuse the life of obedience, penitence, faith, and 

3. There is that in the nature and life and offices 
of this thorn-crowned King which should commend 
him to our deepest reverence and strongest faith, 
our holiest love, and our unfaltering obedience. 
" Behold the Man ! " What does Pilate say? " I 
find no fault in him ! " Who has found any fault 
in him ? Who convinceth him of sin ? He is holy, 
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. He is 
absolutely without spot or blemish. Shall we not 
be drawn by this spectacle of flawless, spotless, radi- 
ant purity? Is it so common that we can afford 
to despise him? 

14 Behold the Man ! " The law of duty was the 

The Great King in Disguise. 1 5 5 

law of his life. " I came not to do my own will, but 
the will of him that sent me." " My meat is to 
do the will of him that sent me." " I must work the 
works of him that sent me, while it is day : the night 
cometh, when no man can work." " It is finished." 
Ought not this to be the law of every life ? Has life 
any significance, any force, any beauty, without it ? 
Is not this complete surrender to duty rare and 
glorious ? 

" Behold the Man!" He bore quiet, faithful, 
unflinching testimony to the truth. ''To this end 
was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, 
that I should bear witness unto the truth." Consider 
the kind of truth to which he bore witness. Not 
local, temporary, institutional truth, but spiritual, 
necessary, universal, eternal truth. And is not this 
a grand office, to bear witness to the truth ? The 
admiration we feel for the truth-speaker in any 
sphere is spontaneous and sincere. His witness 
may be a very humble one, it may be for a merely 
local, typical, temporary truth, but we weave a chap- 
let of honor for him who sees it and utters it. How 
much more for him who was and is THE Truth ! 

" Behold the Man ! " How meekly and calmly and 

sublimely does he hold his vast and mighty powers 

in reserve? He is thorn-crowned. His hands are 

weak and pulseless, and the long reed trembles as 

he barely supports it. His pierced flesh quivers 

with agony, the blood drops from his brows. His 

brain throbs with pain, his heart is breaking with 

the burden of its great, mysterious sorrow. And 

156 Christian Manliness. 

why is he so defenseless ? Is it because he is weaker 
than his enemies? A word from him, and as light- 
ning — smiting, scorching — leaps from the bosom of 
the black cloud the secret fires would shrivel them 
up before his face. A single wave of his hand, and 
the earth would open and swallow them up. Those 
mute lips, let them but move in prayer to his Father, 
and instantly twelve legions of armed angels would 
flame about him. All power is his, in heaven and 
on earth, but he will use it only for lofty and glo- 
rious spiritual ends. It is a sacred and charmed de- 
posit, and he will never use it for himself, for his 
own protection and sustenance, or for the purposes 
of vainglory, as tempted to do in the wilderness. 
That power is for others: to relieve pain and suf- 
fering, to feed, to clothe, to solace, to heal — and to 
bless, to forgive and sanctify and beautify the pen- 
itent and aspiring soul. He suffers, but not in his 
own right, not on his own account, not for himself, 
but for us; the just for the unjust, that he might 
bring us to God. 

Behold him as your Guide. Do you not need a 
guide? Are you never perplexed ? Have you no 
experience of conflict of duties? Behold him as 
your Friend, faithful, delicate, sympathizing, all- 
powerful. Do you not yearn for such a friend? Is 
not your heart hungry for such wealth and delicacy 
and fidelity of love as he only can give? Behold 
him as your present, gracious, patient, complete 

4. The Jews scornfully, contemptuously rejected 

The Great King in Disguise. 157 

him, and their ruin was swift, complete, inevitable ; 
so with every soul that willfully puts him away. No 
life is in danger with Christ ; every life is in peril 
without him. The clear, open, complete disclosure 
of Christ to a human soul is to that soul the begin- 
ning of spiritual life or death, as Christliness is 
every-where heaven, and selfishness is every-where 

Behold, I bring him forth before you. The sol- 
diers have worked their will upon him. " Behold 
the Man ! " What will you do with him ? Will you 
mock him ? Will you deride him ? Will you kneel 
in mock solemnity, saying, " Hail, King of the Jews ?" 
Will you smite him ? Will you cry, "Crucify him ? " 
This was the third time Pilate brought him before 
these Jews. He has been in your presence before. 
You have said, " He is not my King." Will you say 
it again ? You have smitten him in the face with 
your refusals. Will you smite him again ? You have 
said, " Let him go to the cross, I will go my way." 
Will you say it again ? 

" Behold the Man !" Mock him no more. Smite 
him no more. Give him to the crucifiers no more. 
Cry out with Thomas, " My Lord and my God!" 
Accept him as your Brother, Saviour, King, and he 
will bless and honor and exalt you for evermore ! 

158 Christian Manliness. 


Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth 
us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and 
yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? He that hath seen me hath 
seen the Father ; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father ? — 
John xiv, 8-9. 

Two things are necessary in order to the produc- 
tion of a result in a moral agent. First, a perceiv- 
ing, recipient, and responsive faculty ; and, second, 
a truth adapted to awaken, arouse, gratify, or feed 
that faculty. Two things are necessary in order to 
vision : light and the eye. Two things are necessary 
in order to respiration : air and lungs. Two things 
are necessary in order to the production of hearing : 
an ear and sound. Whenever there is light and an 
eye there must be vision ; whenever there is air and 
lungs there must be respiration. It is not a ques- 
tion of volition at all. Given an open eye and light, 
and the will has nothing to do with the matter. 
Vision follows without any determination on the 
part of the will. It does not require an effort of 
volition in order to hear when there is sound 
and a ear ; it follows without volition. So there are 
sensibilities, emotions, capacities in man which are 
excited without any reference to the will, and there 
are some faculties, some susceptibilities in the hu- 
man spirit whose activity cannot in any wise be de- 

The Prophetic Vision of God. 159 

termined by the will. A man cannot make himself 
glad when he is sad simply by resolving to be glad. 
You cannot by an effort of the will compel yourself 
to love that which is inherently unlovely, or to rec- 
ognize as superior that which is confessedly inferior. 
Yonder on the public square is a veiled statue; the 
hour has arrived for its public display ; at a given 
signal the shroud falls away. It is hideous ! It is 
misshapen ! It is distorted ! It is any thing but a 
sight of beauty ! Now, no amount of argument on 
the part of the sculptor, however gifted he may be, 
can prove to you that an ugly and hideous statue is 
a thing of grace and proportion, and your will can- 
not make that appear beautiful which is intrinsically 
ugly. We cannot believe that love is hate. We 
may indeed say that it is, with our lips. But I am 
not talking about lips; I am talking about the actual 
feeling, the real response of one's soul. We can- 
not make love appear to the mind as an identical 
quality with hate. We cannot make truth and a 
lie the same thing to our spirits. We cannot make 
that which is repulsive seem fair and lovely. 

These are the underlying principles, the basal 
truths, of all true, enduring spiritual philosophy, and 
any religion that aspires to universal sway and per- 
manent authority among men must have respect to 
these principles. No religion can ever come to per- 
manent authority, no religion can ever come to uni- 
versal sway, that does not root itself in, and propa- 
gate itself by, a devout and honest and straightfor- 
ward recognition of these truths. 

160 Christian Manliness. 

" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy might, and with all thy soul, 
and with all thy strength." It is taken for granted 
in this commandment that God is worthy of such a 
love. The underlying assumption is that he is a 
Being fitted to call forth that kind of love ; and if 
he is not, the mere command to love him does not 
make it right. It is not right to love God just be- 
cause we are commanded to love him. It is not 
right to love any superior being just because we are 
ordered to do so. We must not, yea, we cannot, 
really love any being, stronger than ourselves, sim- 
ply by virtue of a command. If that being is un- 
just, if that being is cruel, if that being is unright- 
eous, it may be our duty not to love him ; and the 
righteousness of loving God does not consist in 
merely obeying an outward command to love him. 
It consists in our capacity to recognize the lovable 
qualities in him. Therefore it is the supreme duty 
of the Christian religion, inasmuch as it commands 
men on the pain and penalty of eternal death to 
love God — it is, I say, the duty of the Christian re- 
ligion to see to it that it shall present God as wor- 
thy of such love. I will not worship a demon just 
because at some time or other some religious fanatic 
calls him God. I will not do violence to my moral 
nature just because some ignorant zealot tells me 
that I must fall down and worship any being who is 
stronger than I am. No man can love a devil just 
because some superstitious recluse calls him God. 
There may be times, there have been times, in the 

The Prophetic Vision of Cod. 161 

religious history of the world when it was the instant 
duty of all good and right-minded men not to love the 
Being that was put forth as God. It is, and I repeat 
it with reverence, the first duty of Christianity, com- 
manding men as it does to yield to the divine Being 
supreme and passionate affection — an affection that 
absorbs the whole nature — it is the duty of this re- 
ligion to see to it that the Supreme Being shall be 
presented to men as worthy of their love. 

Have you ever studied the contents of the pro- 
phetic vision of God? Have you ever taken the 
Old Testament Scriptures and carefully inquired 
into the kind of a God these old Hebrew seers fore- 
told ? It is remarkable how they not only predicted 
the coming of a great Person, the coming of a strange 
and wonderful Being, but how they almost always 
so phrased their predictions as to bring prominently 
to the fore the truth that God, as he shall be dis- 
closed to the world through Israel, should be pre- 
sented as an attractive, winning, drawing, magnetic 

Let me read you some passages of Scripture in 
order to justify this statement. The pith and mar- 
row, the inner heart and spirit, of all these passages 
is that there should come from the peculiar and 
chosen people such a disclosure of the divine nature 
as would draw men to it : " The scepter shall not 
depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his 
feet, until Shiloh come ; and unto him shall the gath- 
ering of the people be." There is not a hint here 
of the use of force to bring the people to Shiloh. 

1 62 Christian Manliness. 

There is not the faintest suggestion of the employ- 
ment of coercion. So far from there being any thing 
in Shiloh to repel people, the dying Jacob predicted 
that the people should gather about him as steel 
filings about a magnet. " Behold, thou shalt call a 
nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew 
not thee shall run unto thee, because of the Lord 
thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel ; for he 
hath glorified thee." Through, by means of, the 
Jewish nation a new unfolding of the divine nature 
is be expected, and such shall be its beauty that 
other nations, hearing of it, should run unto Israel 
because of the Lord their God. " And it shall come 
to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the 
Lord's house shall be established in the top of the 
mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills ; and 
all nations shall flow unto it. And many people 
shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the 
mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of 
Jacob ; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will 
walk in his paths." Is not that in outline a descrip- 
tion of a God who would draw people to him ? "And 
in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall 
stand for an ensign of the people ; to it shall the 
Gentiles seek." If there are any soldiers here, they 
know that wherever the ensign is on the field of 
battle, that is where they are to seek, and there is to 
be such a disclosure of God in Christ Jesus that what 
the colors are to soldiers on the field of battle, God, 
as seen in Christ, is to be to the nations. "And the 
inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, 

The Prophetic Vision of God. 163 

Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to 
seek the Lord of hosts : I will go also. Yea, many 
people and strong nations shall come to seek the 
Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the 

My object in reading these passages from the Old 
Testament has been to show that the final disclos- 
ure of God, according to the contents of the Hebrew 
prophecy, was to be the disclosure of a Being of ir- 
resistible drawing power, of irresistible spiritual mag- 
netism, and to show that, my language was not too 
strong when I said that, if men are to love God with 
all their hearts, it is the duty of the teachers of Chris- 
tianity to see that they shall present to men a God 
worthy of love. Clearly it was the expectation of 
the Hebrew prophets that such a God should be 
manifested to men by the coming of their Messiah. 

Have the teachers of Christianity always done it? 
Bishop Foster, speaking elsewhere, protected by 
years and scholarship and eminent ability, could say 
that Christianity has suffered more from the errors 
of its friends than the malice of its foes. If I may 
not make this statement as an original one, I may 
at least quote it from the eminent and godly Bishop, 
and strongly emphasize its truth. For it is true 
that Christianity has suffered more from the errors 
of its friends than the malice of its foes. Was that 
God who was declared to men from the eighth to 
the sixteenth century of the Christian era, a God 
calculated to win and draw people ? Was he cal- 
culated to attract the admiration, win the homage, 

164 Christian Manliness. 

and call forth the affections of strong and noble nat- 
ures ? That God who was represented as delighting 
in nothing so much as the eternal burning of here- 
tics ; that God who had committed the distribution 
of his mercies into the hands of a few Italian priests, 
with their head-quarters on the banks of the Tiber; 
that God who permitted these priests freely to dis- 
pense and dispose of his mercy, whose sins they re- 
mitted being remitted, whose sins they refused to 
forgive being still binding ; that God who damned 
men for opinions, not for conduct ; that God who 
was declared to be pleased with the sight of human 
beings in exquisite pain — was that God worthy of 
the supreme love of noble hearts? No! a thou- 
sand times, No! He was worthy of universal 

Two or three years ago I read, in a monthly mag- 
azine sent to a great many preachers in this country, 
the following words from an eminent divine, an emi- 
nent Protestant divine, a clergyman of one of the 
most influential and highly cultured religious bodies 
in the United States : " Tone up the pew to the cor- 
dial acceptance of every article of our Confession. 
The sound conservatism of the New England heart, 
and the New England head, and the old New En- 
gland piety will, I trust, erelong, by the grace of 
God, bring back the theology of New England to 
the platform of Jonathan Edwards and the fathers." 
Well, I thought I would see about this matter a little, 
and find out just what kind of a Confession it was 
that the pew was to be toned up to in every article. 

The Prophetic Vision of God. 165 

I found it. Here is a single specimen of its gracious 
utterance : " By the decree of God, for the manifes- 
tation of his glory, some men and angels are predes- 
tined unto everlasting life, and others are fore-or- 
dained to everlasting death. These angels and men, 
thus predestined and fore-ordained, are particularly 
and unchangeably designed, and their number is so 
certain and definite that it cannot be either increased 
or diminished. The rest of mankind God was pleased, 
according to the unsearchable counsel of his own 
self, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as 
he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power 
over his^creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to 
dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his 
glorious justice." Do you wonder that doubters and 
infidels are as plentiful in New England as they are 
said to be? I wonder that they are not all infidels, 
in the presence of such teaching concerning God. 
Am I to be commanded to love the God who, sitting 
in the solitude and calmness of eternity, ere yet any 
world had been created, should deliberately precon- 
ceive the whole plan of this creation, who foresaw all 
that would happen, and deliberately filled the earth 
with beings who are ordained to sin that they might 
suffer, and then in wrath appointed to eternal suffer- 
ing ? Men may through fear say with their lips that 
they love such a God, but they no more love him than 
they love a devil. Nor is this all. " The sound con- 
servatism of the New England heart, and the New 
England head, and the old New England piety will, 
I trust, erelong, by the grace of God, bring back the 

1 66 Christian Manliness. 

theology of New England to the platform of Jona- 
than Edwards and the fathers." Several years ago, 
I invested in Jonathan Edwards's works. He was 
a very great and holy and godly man, but he was 
not pope, thank God ! He preached a great many 
sermons, and one of the most famous of them is en- 
titled, " Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." 
Let me read to you a specimen of the old-fashioned 
theology of Jonathan Edwards, to which we are soon 
to return. In this sermon on " Sinners in the Hands 
of an Angry God," preached to those whom he styles 
" the unregenerate," he says: " The God that holds 
you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, 
or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, 
and is dreadfully provoked ; his wrath toward you 
burns like fire ; he looks upon you as worthy of 
nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of 
purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight ; 
you are ten thousand times so abominable in his 
sight as the most hateful and venomous serpent is 
in ours." " Consider this, you that are here present, 
that yet remain in an unregenerate state. That God 
will execute the fierceness of his anger implies that 
he will inflict wrath without any pity." Now if, in 
a fit of anger, I should correct my child without any 
pity, and it should become generally known, this 
whole Church would speedily ask for a new pastor. 
And yet we are asked to bow down and worship a 
God who will deliberately inflict pain on his wayward 
children, without any pity ! "When God beholds 
the ineffable extremity of your case, and sees your 

The Prophetic Vision of God. 167 

torment so vastly disproportioned to your strength, 
and sees how your poor soul is crushed and sinks 
down, as it were, into an infinite gloom, he will have 
no compassion upon you, he will not forbear the ex- 
ecutions of his wrath, or in the least lighten his 
hand ; there shall be no moderation or mercy, nor 
will God then at all stay his rough wind ; he will 
have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful 
lest you should suffer too much, in any other sense 
than only that you should not suffer beyond what 
strict justice requires ; nothing should be withheld." 
Mark the language ! There is nothing more terrific 
in Dante's Inferno or Milton's hell. " Nothing shall 
be withheld because it is so hard for you to bear." 
Once more : " Thus it will be with you that are in 
an unconverted state, if you continue in it ; the in- 
finite might and majesty and terribleness of the 
omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you in the 
ineffable strength of your torments ; you shall be 
tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in 
the presence of the Lamb ; and when you shall be 
in this state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of 
heaven shall go forth and look on the awful specta- 
cle, that they may see what the wrath and fierceness 
of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, 
they will fall down and adore that great power and 

And then I am asked to account for the preva- 
lence and spread of modern infidelity ! There is 
nothing difficult in accounting for the infidelity of 
any man who has been brought up to believe in the 

1 68 Christian Manliness. 

existence of such a God. He is not the God of the 
Bible ; he is not the God of the New Testament ; 
he is not the God whom we are commanded to love 
with all our heart and mind and soul and strength. 
He is a heated, barbaric, mediaeval invention, worthy 
of the worship only of those who cower and cringe, 
and are servile and cowardly. Not by the worship 
of such a God will men ever be redeemed from sin- 
fulness and cowardice and cruelty. If God in heaven 
can exhaust the full tide of his power and wrath upon 
his own lost children ; if in heaven, with a heart like 
flint or marble or stone, God may look upon his 
sinning children, and no tears ever bedim the infinite 
Father's eye as the endless procession of lost souls 
goes down to eternal night, then how do you ask 
me to pity my child when he goes wrong? How 
do you ask me to weep tears of sorrow over the loss 
of my son or daughter, if God takes with perfect in- 
difference the loss, the eternal ruin, of the majority 
of the children he has made? No! No! No! Be- 
fore the reasonable intelligence of this time, before 
the sweet spirit of Christian love that is now abroad 
in the world, such a cruel and wicked conception 
of God is doomed to die. May the day of its death 
hasten ! 

''Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." Who 
is God ? I mean, who is the Christian God ? Not, 
who is Jupiter; not, who is Thor; not, who is the 
God of the Italian priests on the banks of the Tiber ; 
not, who is this God that regales heaven by leading 
its inhabitants to the outer battlements that they 

The Prophetic Vision of God. 1 69 

may joyously witness the torments of hell ; but, who 
is the God of Jesus Christ ? He himself is. " He 
that hath seen ME hath seen the Father." And who 
and what kind of a God is that? He is the God 
into whose presence a company of sneering, jeering 
Pharisees pushed and jostled and thrust a guilty 
woman, with burning face, and then in pious horror 
stood aloof, as if to say: "There ! look at that thing ; 
we caught her in the very act ! Moses in the law 
said we should stone such to death. Now, what 
do you say ? " Willing to expose and put to public 
shame this poor, wretched creature, if only they 
could entrap him ! And he stooped down and wrote 
in the sand, and said : " Let him that is without fault 
among you cast the first stone." And again he 
stooped down and began to write, while they, be- 
ginning with the eldest, went out one after another, 
until Infinite Purity was left alone with human weak- 
ness, guilt, and crime. " Where are those thine 
accusers?" "No man, Lord." "Neither do I 
condemn thee: go, and sin no more." I bow my 
knee to HIM; I give my heart to HIM; I will follow 
His guidance as long as I live ; I will not fear to 
commit my soul to Him when I die. See, yonder 
is a funeral procession slowly winding about the 
wall of the city, seeking the burial-place of the 
dead. There is one mourner only; she is a widow; 
the dead man is her only son. And he, coming 
toward the city, meets the sad procession, and with- 
out paying any attention apparently to the dead 
man, looks upon her, and " has compassion" on her; 

170 Christian Manliness. 

and then in pity he brings back to life her son and 
her hope. He is ascending the side of Olivet, and 
the golden pinnacles of the splendid temple flash 
before him, and he stops and says: " O Jerusalem, 
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and ston- 
est them that are sent unto thee ; how oft would 
I have gathered thy children together, as a hen 
gathereth her brood under her wings, but ye would 
not ! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." 
Who is our God ? See that father coming yonder 
with the dumb idiot boy ; he foams at the mouth ; 
he is torn, he raves, and throws himself violently 
on the ground. The poor, broken-hearted father 
had brought him to his disciples, and they could do 
nothing for him. He brings him now to the Master, 
and as he approaches him he throws himself on the 
ground, and wallows, foaming ! And Jesus stops 
and says : " How long ago since this came to him ? " 
" Since he was a child ; and ofttimes it casts him into 
water ; and into the fire. If thou canst do any thing, 
help us." And Jesus says : " All things are possible 
to him that believeth." The father, through his 
tears, cries out, " Lord, I believe ; help thou mine 
unbelief." " I charge thee, thou deaf and dumb 
spirit, come out of him ; " and he restored him 
whole to his father! This is our God ! On Sunday 
he goes into a synagogue in Capernaum. The holy 
people are there ; the people who imagine that God 
has given into their special keeping his holy day 
and the government of this part of the universe. 
They are there who would pull their sheep or ass 

The Prophetic Vision of God. 171 

out of the pit very quickly, and here is a man with 
a withered arm ; and they wait, and watch to see 
if Jesus will heal him on the Sabbath day. "And 
he saith, Stretch forth thy hand. And he stretched it 
forth, and immediately it was whole like the other." 
Jesus, who sent special word to John that the poor 
have the Gospel preached unto them ; Jesus, who 
fulfilled in himself the ancient prophecy that he 
would not quench the smoking flax or break the 
bruised reed ; Jesus, who, had he but spoken, could 
in an instant of time have caused the whole earth, 
with all its populations, to have disappeared forever, 
but who instead went meekly to the cross, and pa- 
tiently bore all its mysterious suffering, and has 
thus taught us that strength is to mother weak- 
ness, that riches are to feed poverty, that genius is 
to serve ignorance, that holiness is to cleanse guilt, 
that the life and health of the universe are secured 
by the sacrificial love of God — who would not love 
and serve him ! And he is God, for " he that 
hath seen me, hath seen the Father ! " In this 
truth, let us live ; by this truth, let us work and 
suffer and be patient ; and by this truth we need 
not fear to die ! 

" Who fathoms the eternal thought? 

Who talks of scheme and plan ? 
The Lord is God, he needeth not 

The poor device of man. 

" I see the wrong that round me lies, 

I feel the guilt within, 
I hear, with groan and travail cries, 
The world confess its sin. 

172 Christian Manliness. 

" Yet in the maddening maze of things, 
And tossed by storm and flood, 

To one fixed stake my spirit clings ; 
I know that God is good ! 

" And so beside the silent sea 

I wait the muffled oar ; 
No harm from him can come to me, 
On ocean or on shore." 

The Brave Choice of Moses. 173 


By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called 
the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction 
with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season ; 
esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in 
Egypt : for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. — 
Heb. xi, 24-26. 

The life of Moses began amid obscure and per- 
ilous surroundings. He was a slave child in an an- 
cient Oriental despotism, and a more unpromising 
beginning, a sadder, harder, more pitiless fate, it 
would be impossible to conceive. He was born at 
a time when the fortunes of his people touched 
their lowest point, for just prior to his birth Pha- 
raoh had issued the murderous edict commanding 
every male Hebrew child as soon as born to be de- 
stroyed by drowning. The strangely mingled love, 
faith, and cunning of his parents combined to save 
him for three months from the curious, prying, in- 
quisitorial eyes of the Egyptian emissaries. When, 
however, concealment was no longer possible, they 
hastily fashioned the crude ark of bulrushes, daubed 
it without and within with slime and pitch, placed 
the goodly boy-babe therein, and laid it in the flags 
by the river's brink. They turned away doubtless 
with tears and prayers, but they did not forget to 
station hard by the quick-witted little Miriam, so 

174 Christian Manliness. 

that she could observe the fate of the ark and its 
precious occupant, and be enabled speedily to report 
to her parents. I will not attempt to trace in order 
the various events in this remarkable life leading up 
to the emergency of the text, when we find Moses 
making the brave and momentous choice whereby 
he should be forever enrolled among the heroes of 
God. You all know how the daughter of Pharaoh, 
Thermuthis by name, as tradition reports, going 
down to the river to bathe, observed the child, and 
sent her maid to fetch it ; you remember how when 
she opened the ark the babe began to cry, and she 
had " compassion on him ; " how suddenly Miriam 
glides into the presence of the princess, looking up 
into her face with perfect demureness ; of her in- 
imitable naivete as she proposes to find a nurse for 
the crying baby among the Hebrew women ; of 
how thus his own mother becomes his nurse ; the 
princess adopting the foundling as her own son, 
calling him Moses, " for," she said, " I drew him 
out of the water." 

Moses grew to manhood in the court of Egypt, 
at that time the most splendid and luxurious court 
in the whole world — a place not specially calculated 
to draw forth and strengthen the sterner and more 
robust moral virtues. At the court he was treated 
as became the son of the daughter of the king. 
How we know not ; but when he came to years, 
that is, when he was grown up, or, literally, " when 
he became great," he found out in some way whose 
son he was ; what blood actually flowed in his veins ; 

The Brave Choice of Moses. 1 7 5 

his relationship to those swarthy Hebrews, broiling 
in the sun yonder, mixing mortar and molding brick. 
What a revolution in his feelings ! What days of 
separation, of meditation, and of loneliness must 
have followed the discovery. We can readily im- 
agine the character of his thoughts and feeling 
during this time. The result was the heroic deter- 
mination to confess his real kinship with these 
slaves, and share their dismal fortunes. 

The sacrifice involved, and the complete change 
in his plans, associations, and ambitions that must 
necessarily have followed his decision, it is not nec- 
essary that we formally unfold. There were many 
inducements and solicitations on the side of the 
suppression of the facts. If he would only quietly 
consent to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 
see what desirable things were his — at once and al- 
ways ! Riches, ease, pleasure, power, knowledge, 
ambition, every thing for eye and ear, and taste, and 
desire, for the body and the mind. On the other 
side, what were there ? Poverty, toil, obscurity, self- 
denial, self-sacrifice, pain, and suffering — the closing 
up against him of every avenue of pleasure, power, 
fame, wealth, and ambition. Was not this a trying 
position for a young man ? To a young man, the 
things he renounced were peculiarly inviting, se- 
ductive, and fascinating, and the things he chose 
proportionately forbidding, abhorrent, and repellent. 
The noble sonnet by which Lowell commemorated 
the noble choice and rare self-renunciation of 
Wendell Phillips applies with equal if not greater 

176 Christian Manliness, 

aptness, beauty, and force to the glorious and lofty 
choice of Moses : 

" He stood upon the world's broad threshold : wide 

The din of battle and of slaughter rose ; 
He saw God stand upon the weaker side, 

That sank in seeming loss before its foes ; 
Many there were who made great haste and sold 

Unto the cunning enemy their swords. 
He scorned their gifts of fame and power and gold, 

And, underneath their soft and flowery words, 
Heard the cold serpent hiss ; therefore he went 

And humbly joined him to the weaker part, 
Fanatic named, and fool, yet well content, 

So he could be the nearer to God's heart, 
And feel its solemn pulses sending blood 
Through all the wide-spread veins of endless good." 

Where are we to look for the explanation, the 
secret inspiration, of this conduct of Moses ? It is 
unusual, exceptional, extraordinary. There are not 
many men like Phillips and Moses. What secret 
power enabled him to choose as he did ? First, and 
chiefly, FAITH inspired, directed, and sustained the 
choice. " By faith, Moses when he was come to 
years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's 
daughter." Faith is that power of the soul by 
which we apprehend the invisible, by which we see 
things, qualities, facts, realities, not disclosed to the 
ordinary eye. It gives us realities, not semblances ; 
the permanent, not the fleeting ; the future, not the 
present ; the real, not the seeming; the moral, not 
the physical ; the spiritual, not the secular ; the eter- 
nal, and not the temporal. This power Moses pos- 

The Brave Choice of Moses. IJJ 

sessed to an extraordinary degree. He saw ordi- 
nary things with his eyes just as other men saw 
them — the palace, the pleasant gardens along the 
Nile, the ease, the wealth, the luxury — he saw all 
those things, but he saw with the eyes of his soul 
far more than he saw with the eyes of his body. 
He had pierced the visible and seized the invisible. 
He saw things as they were, and not as they seemed 
to be. He knew, indeed, whose son he was: not 
the son of Pharaoh's daughter, nor of the swarthy 
Hebrews of the tribe of Levi, but the son of God; 
the son of duty, of truth, of right. He saw how 
fleeting, how unsubstantial, how unsatisfying, how 
base and ignoble were the pleasures of sin, of mere 
sense and appetite, as compared with the peace and 
power that follow the soul's obedience to the higher 
law. He knew who these Goshen slaves were, too : 
God's chosen people, and that of them a King should 
arise with a nobler rule than earth ever knew before, 
with a dominion wider and more enduring than the 
proudest Pharaoh might ever boast. These were 
some of the disclosures made to him by that su- 
preme faculty of the spirit described as faith. 

He was sustained and supported, too, by the con- 
viction that there would come to him a fitting rec- 
ompense, an ample and glorious reward. " He had 
respect unto the recompense of the reward." Not 
that he clearly foresaw the whole of the great work 
he was to do, and the splendid reward which should 
be his for doing it, but that he had that secret sense 
which all good and true men have that wherever in 

178 Christian Manliness. 

the wide universe one seeks to do the right he 
shall not miss of his reward. We can easily imag- 
ine what they thought and said of him about this 
time in the Egyptian court : " What a pity that 
such a splendid fellow should throw himself away ! " 
" He is too squeamish. He stands too much on 

■ trifles." It seems that about this time Mr. and 
Mrs. They-Say were on a visit to the Egyptian court. 
" Foolish fellow," they say, " he is throwing away 
every thing." " He is following a mere sentiment. 
He is a mere idle dreamer." Threw away every 
thing? He gained everything! First of all, he 
gained a lofty sense of self-respect, without which 
no man is ever good, or strong, or great. Nor can 
we really respect ourselves until we do something 
great — something that makes us feel that we have 
in us the stuff out of which heroes and saints are 
made, something really grand and noble. Moses 
must have felt this kindling inspiration on that day 
when he walked out of the palace, never once turn- 
ing to look back at the splendor and glories he was 
leaving, his face headed toward the brick-kilns and 
toiling slaves of Goshen. " He had respect unto 
the recompense of the reward." 

" For he had respect unto the recompense of the 

t reward." What do mine eyes see? Behold! the 
Son of man suddenly transfigured before them ! 
His face shines as the sun, and his garments are 
white as the light. And what else do I see? "And, 
behold, there appeared MOSES and Elias talking 
with him," Moses had respect unto the recom- 

The Brave Choice of Moses. 179 

pense of the reward. Consider his vast and co- 
lossal place and power in human history. Con- 
trast with his the proudest names in Greek and 
Roman history. The position of Moses, as the son 
of Pharaoh's daughter, must have appeared to the 
court people at the time as one of the first in the 
whole world. Little did they know of the real truth 
in the matter. The name of what Pharaoh, yea, or 
what dozen Pharaohs, is to be mentioned along-side 
of the name of Moses now ? 

Consider his funeral — the grandest ever given to 
man. The Lord himself buried him there in a 
valley in the land of Moab. 

" But when the warrior dieth 

His comrades in the war, 
With arms reversed and muffled drum, 

Follow the funeral car. 
They show the banners taken, 

They tell his battles won, 
And after him lead his masterless steed, 

While peals the minute gun. 

" Amid the noblest of the land 

Men lay the sage to rest, 
And give the bard an honored place 

With costly marble drest, 
In the great minster transept, 

Where lights like glories fall, 
And the choir sings and the organ rings 

Along the emblazoned wall. 

" This was the bravest warrior 

That ever buckled sword ; 
This the most gifted poet 

That ever breathed a word ; 

180 Christian Manliness, 

And never earth's philosopher 

Traced with his golden pen 
On the deathless page truth half so sage 

As he wrote down for men. 

" And had he not high honor? 

The hill-side for his pall, 
To lie in state while angels wait, 

With stars for tapers tall, 
And the dark rock-pines like tossing plumes 

Over his bier to wave, 
And God's own hand in the lonely land 

To lay him in the grave." 

Higher than earthly honor has been accorded him. 
Once to a lonely exile, on a rugged isle of the 
^Egean Sea, the gates of the Eternal City were 
thrown open, and he saw as it were far adown its 
shining golden streets. He beheld somewhat of 
its mighty glory and triumph, he heard somewhat 
of its sublime symphony of joy and victory. And 
what do you think he saw, and what do you think he 
heard ? Hear him : " And I saw as it were a sea of 
glass mingled with fire : and them that had gotten 
the victory over the beast, and over his image, and 
over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand 
on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And 
they sing the song of MOSES, the servant of God, 
and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and mar- 
velous are thy works, Lord God Almighty ; just and 
true are thy ways, thou King of saints ! " 

Let us now gather up some of the lessons of 
wisdom, bravery, success, and righteousness afforded 
us by this history. 

The Brave Choice of Moses. 1 8 1 

I. When young men come to years they are con- 
strained to a solemn and most momentous choice. 
The earlier years of life are largely those of im- 
pression, instinct, inclination, impulse, desire. It 
is the time for pictures, dreams, ideals, sentiments, 
enthusiasms. Everything is in a fluid, plastic state 
or condition. Into each life, however, there comes 
at last a period of " moral thoughtfulness," as Ar- 
nold of Rugby would style it. Its essence is that 
of Moses ; that is, shall we be real, or only seem to 
be? Out of this experience issue those choices 
which determine the drift, the ends, the character 
of all that is to follow. What we are to do, what 
we are to get, what we are to achieve, and, above 
all, what we are to be, all depend upon the determi- 
nations of this early era of moral thoughtfulness. 
Such a crisis came to Moses. Such a crisis comes 
to every one of us — some of us are even now making 
our choices. 

You have heard of the fabled choice of Hercules. 
When a young man, he goes out to a solitary place 
to muse upon his future course in life. Two female 
figures approach him ; one in white apparel, with a 
noble countenance, open, innocent, inviting, the 
other loosely, almost wantonly attired, her face 
painted and bedizened, with a bold, forward air, and 
furtively glancing about her to see if people looked 
at her. As the two drew nearer, the latter ran 
hastily forward, and addressed Hercules with the 
greatest familiarity: " O Hercules, I see that you 
are in great perplexity about your future course in 

1 82 Christian Manliness. 

life. If you will follow me you shall have a smooth 
and charming road. You need not burden your 
mind with business, or battles, or work of any kind. 
Your entire study hereafter shall be where to find 
the best wines and the most tempting dishes, the 
sweetest odors and the most becoming clothes, the 
happiest companions and the merriest amusements. 
Nor need you take any trouble as to the means 
necessary to support this style of life, for certain 
friends and familiars of mine will see to it that you 
are liberally provided for in this direction." *' And 
pray, madam," asked Hercules, " what might be 
your name?" " My real name is Pleasure, but 
certain of my enemies have nicknamed me Vice." 
I fancy that she must have blushed — if Vice ever 
does blush — and dropped her head, as she was giv- 
ing her name. 

Then in a quiet, serious, modest way spoke the 
other : " Hercules, I knew your parents ; I have 
noted and observed your w r ays from boyhood, and 
I am sure you are capable of noble deeds ; but I 
must not delude you with false promises. As the 
Higher Powers have arranged the world, you can 
hope for nothing good or desirable without work. 
If you would number the gods among your friends, 
you must serve them; if you would be loved by 
those about you, you must make yourself useful ; 
if you want your field to be fruitful, you must till 
it ; if you want to be honored by all Greece, you 
must render it some brave and illustrious service ; 
if you wish to be a great warrior, you must take 

The Brave Choice of Moses. 183 

lessons from some good soldier ; you must bring 
the body into subjection, and must in every thing 
submit to wise discipline." It was a frank, open 
statement, concealing nothing from the fresh, eager, 
impulsive spirit, but it won the heart of Hercules, 
and at once he rose up, and followed virtue along 
the path of duty and honor, and so became the 
renowned liberator of Greece. To a like choice, 
every young man here feels himself divinely 
impelled. Resist the solicitations of vice. Heed 
and obey the solemn commands of virtue and 

2. This choice, and all similar ones, involve straight- 
forwardness, sincerity, and reality. If we carefully 
analyze this choice of Moses, if we go to the center 
of the matter at once, what do we find? Simply 
that Moses meant to be himself and not somebody 
else; to be true, open, manly, honest, sincere. He 
was not willing to be thought something other than 
he was, as, for example, the son of Pharaoh's daugh- 
ter, when, in fact, he was the son of a Hebrew slave- 
woman. He would not sail under false colors! If 
we would imitate Moses in the essential spirit of his 
decision, we must inflexibly resolve never to appear 
other than we are. 

3. The rewards of righteousness, if slow, are solid, 
substantial, and enduring, and we are to choose 
them, however distant they may seem, rather than 
the temporary pleasures of sin. They greatly err who 
talk as if sin had no pleasures. Consider th6se 
things within easy reach of Moses, and tell me 

184 Christian Manliness, 

frankly if they were not peculiarly enticing and at- 
tractive, and especially to a young man. Ease, 
wealth, pleasure, power — while human nature re- 
mains what it is these things must be attractive to 
men. Sin has its pleasures ; they are real, keen, 
zestful, but they are only for a season ; the seeds of 
speedy death are in them. The path of righteous- 
ness is sometimes dangerous, sometimes dismal, 
sometimes lonely, sometimes without promise of 
success or reward. Let it be distinctly known that 
the way of virtue is always surrounded with difficul- 
ties, and sometimes is beset with perils. These 
may deter the indolent, the supine, the cowardly ; 
but they are only so many bugle blasts to the ear- 
nest and the brave. The fruits of righteousness 
ripen slowly, but they ripen, and they are forever 
sweet and pleasant to the taste. Its rewards come 
gradually, but they come, and they are abiding, O, 
my young friends, 

" The path of duty IS the way to glory ! 

He that walks it, only thirsting 

For the right, and learns to deaden 

Love of self, before his journey closes 

He shall find the stubborn thistle bursting 

Into glossy purples, which outredden 

All voluptuous garden-roses. . . . 

He that, ever, ever following her commands, 

On with toil of heart and knees and hands, 

Thro' the long gorge to the far light has won 

His path upward, and prevailed, 

Shall find the toppling crags of duty scaled 

Are close upon the shining table-lands 

To which our God himself is sun and moon." 

The Brave Choice of Moses. 185 

4. We, no more than Moses, can come to power 
and success here without the blessed and glorious 
illuminations and inspirations of faith. The young 
man as he looks around him must see many tempt- 
ing pleasures, and as he looks within his own heart 
and nature he discovers strong desires pleading for 
gratification. The enticements and allurements of 
the life of the flesh, of the present, of pleasure, are 
immediate, insinuating, numerous, and potent. 
Have you never heard the young man's strong plea 
for himself, as for the first time he looks upon the 
world of forbidden and tempting pleasures? This 
young man, Moses, might have urged a plea in his 
own behalf — how strong, how plausible, how natu- 
ral, how nicely calculated to deceive ! We need, as 
Moses needed, the power of faith. We will not 
make the present serve the future until we see that 
future to be greater than this present, and only faith 
can show us this. And so with all the other malign 
elements with which we are in conflict. There must 
come to us the quick insight, the far outlook, the 
firm and steady grasp of faith before we will be 
strong enough to renounce all the pleasures of sin, 
to embrace a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice, 
strong enough to denounce and fight the popular 
and profitable lie, strong enough " to dare to be in 
the right with two or three." 

Here you stand, many of you, at the parting of 
the ways. There are two ways, let men say what 
they will. One is the right way, the other is the 
wrong way. There is a difference in the ways, and 

1 86 Christian Manliness. 

you see it. Choose you must. There is no evading 
it. You cannot stand there forever, refusing to de- 
cide. That is simply one method of choosing the 
wrong way. How will you choose ? In the strife 
of truth with falsehood, once to every man upon 
this earth comes the moment to decide for the good 
or evil side. Woe to that man who in such a crisis 
chooses darkness rather than light ! Better were it 
for that man that he had never been born. . To-day 
the cause of evil may prosper, but Truth alone is 
strong, and around her " throng troops of beautiful, 
tall angels to enshield her from all wrong." To-day 
the swart kinsmen of Moses are slaves in the land 
of Goshen ; to-morrow they are a royal priesthood, 
a nation of inspired prophets, disclosing the will of 
the Eternal One, and Moses is their anointed leader. 
There are two ways! Which will you choose? 
May that God who opened the eyes of Moses, and 
filled his heart with grace, humility, and wisdom, 
now grant unto you the power to choose the right, 
the brave, the true, and manly way! and may he 
uphold you therein until you and we and all of us 
ascend on high to swell the number of those who, 
having " gotten the victory over the beast, and over 
his image, and over his mark, and over the number 
of his name, stand on the sea of glass, mingled 
with fire, and sing the song of MOSES the servant 
of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great 
and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty ; 
just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints ! " 

Omissions in the Preaching of Jesus. 187 


From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent : for 
the kingdom of heaven is at hand. — Matt, iv, 17. 

JESUS was a perpetual surprise to his contempo- 
raries. He did and said many things for which they 
were totally unprepared, and he left undone and 
unsaid those things they confident^ expected him 
to do and to say. The leaders of Jewish thought 
and politics at that time were sharply disappointed 
in him at every fresh phase of his life. They looked 
for the political restoration of Israel. He seemed 
almost utterly indifferent to their political condi- 
tion and ambitions. They were hedging about the 
law with confusing and cumbersome traditions, mak- 
ing it hard for plain people to be good. He openly 
antagonized their exacting and oppressive ceremo- 
nial observances, and declared himself and his disci- 
ples forever free from the narrow and vain " traditions 
of men." They expected their Messiah to impose 
the Mosaic regulations upon the Gentile nations, or, 
in the event of their contumacy, to thresh them as 
with a rod of iron. He taught that all the law and 
the prophets consisted in loving God with the whole 
heart, and one's neighbor as one's self. They looked 

forward to a time when all nations should flow to 

1 88 Christian Manliness. 

Jerusalem as the one acknowledged center of the 
world's political light and governance, as well as of 
its religious faith and worship. He taught a guilty 
and proscribed Samaritan woman that the time 
had come when honest, open-hearted men might 
every-where worship the Father in spirit and in 
truth. They demanded of him who should redeem 
Israel that he should maintain himself in gorgeous 
royal state, that he should surround himself with 
glittering earthly pomp and splendor, that his strong 
right arm should be swift to execute vengeance 
upon his foes, and that with swelling pride and 
power he should put his foot upon the neck of his 
prostrate enemies. He spent by far the greater 
portion of his life among rude and plain people, not 
differing in outward appearance, dress, and carriage 
markedly from his compatriots. He selected his 
inner circle of disciples from among the ranks of the 
common people; he daily lived with them on terms 
of equality and familiarity, and the occupation 
which wholly absorbed his time and energies was 
that of a simple and ardent preacher of obedience 
to God and love to man. Is it any wonder that his 
contemporaries should be keenly disappointed in 

How does Jesus appear to modern thought? Is 
there not something strange and unexpected about 
him even to us ? Remembering who he was, stand- 
ing squarely upon our doctrinal basis, namely, that 
he was God manifest in the flesh, that the life he 
lived was the divine life, subject to physical and 

Omissions in the Preaching of Jesus. 1 89 

time conditions, washiscourse and manner of life such 
as we should have imagined beforehand? This is 
our faith, that in him dwelt all the fullness of the 
Godhead bodily, and holding fast by this, I ask, Did 
he live and act as we should have supposed God to 
live and act were he to appear in human form ? Re- 
member his great words to Philip, " He that hath 
seen me hath seen the Father." Does his life seem 
a natural one in the eyes of the modern man ? Es- 
pecially, so far forth as he was a preacher and teach- 
er, was his preaching and teaching what we would 
have expected under the conditions supposed? 
Have you ever marked, and, marking, have you ob- 
served, mused, reflected upon, the singular and strik- 
ing omissions of Jesus as a preacher? Do you ever 
reflect upon what he did not preach about ? And 
have you reflected upon the significance of these 
omissions? For we may be sure that in his silence 
and reserve there is a revelation of God's will. Con- 
sider some of the subjects which, so far as we can 
observe or discover, never directly or formally en- 
tered into his preaching. 

He does not anywhere discuss the subject of war; 
its horribleness, its cruelty, its futility as a means 
of settling disputes among nations, its sinfulness, or 
the best method of ridding the world of the awful 
curse. He, the Prince of Peace, never once, as far 
as we can find out, preached a sermon on war. He 
is likewise silent on the general subject of slavery, 
although the world was groaning under the gigantic 
wrong! He gave not a single hint, directly and 

190 Christian Manliness. 

avowedly, as to how men were to proceed in order 
to secure universal emancipation. At no time or 
place did he take up and consider the vitally im- 
portant question of the relation of woman to the 
State, to the government, to education, to man, to 
the general welfare. It is a modern unbeliever who 
writes of the alleged "subjugation of woman." It 
is in vain that we search the reported discourses of 
Jesus to ascertain his mind as to the best form of 
government among men — a subject of vast impor- 
tance, and concerning which good and wise men 
widely differ. There is not a single paragraph in 
any of his sermons as to the relative importance of 
the physical, mental, and moral elements of human 
evolution and civilization. He is utterly silent as 
to the influence of art on civilization, on religion, 
on liberty, on general progress. He sketched no 
plan, gave us the outline of no scheme, for the reor- 
ganization of society. 

He did not anticipate any of the methods of mod- 
ern philosophy or study, or any of the great discov- 
eries of modern science, or their application to the 
conduct and comforts of life. 

What, then, I am asked, did he preach about ? 
The text tells us — " Repent." This was the heart 
and substance of his preaching. Comprehensively 
this sums it all up, compacts it for us. We must 
not forget what this word " Repent " contains or 
includes in the preaching of Jesus. It includes 
every active process by which men break with evil, 
its seduction and thrall ; all that we mean by con- 

Omissions in the Preaching of Jesus. 191 

viction, penitence, abandonment of evil, faith, con- 
secration, prayer, and the like. • It meant an imme- 
diate, radical, profound change and evolution in a 
man's moral life. It included all that was neces- 
sary, on man's part, to enable him to become in 
very deed a partaker of the Divine Nature, a sharer 
of God's holiness. 

What may we learn from this opening up of the 
passage ? 

1. In the estimate of the divine Jesus, sin is not 
only a real and stubborn fact, but an awful, ruinous, 
and tremendous fact. What does he do ? He 
comes, a God, to redeem the world, and where and 
how does he begin? With the customs of men, 
their conditions, or laws, or institutions? On the 
outside ? Nay, but at the- very center of personal, 
individual moral being. What is his evident, chief, 
glowing concern for men? Is it not that they shall 
be at once rescued from the thrall and service of 
evil? We may be sure that he, God manifest in 
the flesh, would give himself at once to the detec- 
tion, the uprooting, the extirpation of that form of 
danger and peril which he believed most seriously 
menaced man's true life; and, judging by his deeds, 
his works, his disposition, and his words, that peril 
was the dread and awful mystery we seek to ex- 
press by the word " sin." 

See the wide difference at this point between 
Jesus, and the thought and conduct of men. Men 
even dispute the reality of sin as a fact, and allege 
that if it is a fact it is a light, easy, trivial, venial 

192 Christian Manliness. 

matter. If men do not, in so many words, say these 
things, they act as if these things were true. Judg- 
ing men by their lives, by their deeds, by their daily 
conduct, what do they say? They confess that cer- 
tain things are to be dreaded — as pain, ignorance, 
poverty, labor, disease, death. By their acts are 
they not saying that poverty is more to be dreaded 
than evil, pain than sin, toil than covetousness ? Are 
not most men seeking, first, in point of time, of im- 
portance, of earnestness, health, knowledge, longev- 
ity, comfort, place, position, power, wealth, luxury? 
What, after all, is the strenuous endeavor of human 
life as we see it about us ? Is it righteousness ? Is 
it God's peace ? Or, is it wealth, power, fame? 

Let us remember, then, what is hidden in any fair, 
straightforward, honest interpretation of these words 
of the Lord Jesus; namely, that sin is the sternest 
and awfulest fact with which we have to do, that 
moral evil is the evil most to be dreaded and fought. 

2. In the divine thought and purpose, as disclosed 
to us in the life and preaching of Jesus, the re- 
demption of man from the evils which afflict, op- 
press, and weaken him is to be effected, not all at 
once, by direct divine fiat or sovereign decree, but 
slowly and gradually, through the regeneration of 
the individual, man by man, one at a time. I have 
said that Jesus omitted war, slavery, woman, gov- 
ernment, education, art, as formal topics in his 
preaching. But was he indifferent to war? Did 
he have no sympathy with the slaves? Recked 
he not as to whether men lived under tyrants or 

Omissions in the Preaching of Jesus. 193 

exulted in liberty? We may not suppose for a sin- 
gle moment that Jesus was not concerned as to 
these matters. By all his love for us, these things 
must have deeply concerned him. We know in 
fact that they did. He must have designed their 
overthrow and destruction, so far as they annoy, 
and vex, and enthrall, and weaken, and destroy us. 
How does he mean to effect it? By first making 
each man right, pure, and sound, beginning with re- 
pentance. The answer is m the text: "Repent." 
This word comes to each man, in his own sole, di- 
rect, immediate responsibility, and not to men in 
groups. The word is not to men in states and na- 
tions, " Repent, change your laws, customs, policies, 
institutions, etc.," but to each individual man the 
word is, " Repent, change your own heart and life, 
turn from evil, lay hold on all that is good." This 
is the plan of Jesus. 

There is another method ; that, namely, of the 
world. It proposes the removal of evils, the relief 
of man's distresses by giving him perfect conditions. 
By understanding it, we will be enabled to gain an 
insight into the weakness of the method of the 
average professional social and legislative reformer. 
What does this method say ? As to war, for exam- 
ple : " Form peace societies, substitute arbitration 
for the sword, appeal to the self-interest of the peo- 
ple, disarm the nations." This would all do very 
well if it took the war-spirit — the spirit that foments 
and breeds war — out of men's hearts. " Change 
your laws, your customs, your institutions, and this 

194 Christian Manliness. 

evil will disappear," is the message of the average 
professional reformer. 

Contrast with this the slower, the more patient, 
less showy, more thorough-going method of Jesus. 
His message is, "Change your men, and evils of all 
kinds will gradually and surely disappear." Test 
his method. Consider, for example, this vexatious 
tenement-house question. Of what use are your 
laws against the grasping landlord, or any other so- 
cial criminal, unless you change him in nature, 
heart, disposition ? He will only change his form 
of oppression and cruelty, just as fast as you change 
your laws, unless by repentance, faith, prayer, you 
take the greed and selfishness out of him. It is 
precisely so with the temperance reform. The 
average professional temperance reformer says, 
" Take liquor away from men, and intemperance 
will cease." Certainly, but for how long a time? 
Until the man can get to it again. Jesus says, 
" Make men stronger than liquor ; by repentance, 
faith, conversion, take the bad appetite out of men, 
utterly uproot it, change their hearts, and liquor 
will disappear." 

Did we not find at the close of the war, in the 
case of the negroes, that emancipation did not 
mean character. Were we not compelled to take 
them, man by man, and gradually restore, recover, 
and regenerate them, one at a time ? Did we not 
recognize this, and at once begin the work? And 
are we not at it now, with our societies, schools, and 

Omissions in the Preaching of Jesus. 195 

The Christianity of Jesus is the sole hope of the 
world. Every time we adopt the methods of shal- 
low social empirics, we weaken our cause and post- 
pone the day of the world's salvation. It is slow, 
but it recognizes the stern fact of SIN. Its message 
is still what it was at the first, " Repent." There 
is indeed to be a perfect society in this world, but 
it will be composed of perfect men. Brethren, an- 
other world is to come, and we, according to his 
promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth, 
wherein dwelleth righteousness. The perfect world 
of which we dream is coming, but it will be here 
only when this world is filled with perfect men ; 
when each man in the world hears and obeys for 
himself the divine command, " Repent ;" when each 
man breaks with the evil that enthralls him, casts 
out of him every thing that defileth, and sets up 
within his own heart that love, and righteousness, 
and joy in which is the kingdom of God. May that 
blessed day hasten ! 

3. Our discernment of the reality and nearness 
of the kingdom of heaven is conditioned upon the 
genuineness and thoroughness of our repentance. 
Is there a kingdom of heaven at all? Is it not all 
a dream? Has God a kingdom here? Men omi- 
nously shake their heads, and say, "No; there may 
be a kingdom of heaven, but it is not here. Where 
are the signs of it ? The Lord is slack concerning 
his promise." The words they speak and the ad- 
verse signs to which they point cannot dim our 
faith. "Alas!" they say, "our hearts are sick 

196 Christian Manliness. 

through deferred hope. If there be a kingdom of 
heaven at all, one thing is quite certain — it is not 
here. There may be one somewhere else ; perhaps 
there is, we hope there is ; but there is none here in 
this world." 

Jesus speaks directly to the contrary. He 
says it is here ; it "is at hand" My business is to 
explain and vindicate his words. It is " at hand." 
This he says every-where and always, quietly and 

Here again is obvious discrepancy, direct, sharp 
collision, between what men see and say, and what 
Jesus saw and said. How is it to be explained ? 
The single word " Repent " explains it, but we 
must remember how much he makes that word 
to mean. We will not see that kingdom except 
we repent. He never promised that we should 
see it on any other condition. It is given to 
the heavenly minded man to see the kingdom 
of heaven, to the godlike man to see the kingdom 
of God, just as it is given to the noble-minded man 
to see nobleness, and the pure-minded man to see 

Have you not, at blessed and glorious intervals, 
caught a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven ? Did 
you not on some bright day, some day of straight 
thinking and clear seeing, some day when you were 
caught up and beheld things which it is impossible 
for a man to utter, begin to discern the outlines of 
a divine order and rule in this world? When, how, 
under what conditions, did it please God to vouch- 

Omissions in the Preaching of Jesus. 197 

safe you the vision ? It was when you felt yourself 
to be in blessed sympathy with God. Into this 
kingdom we will enter and abide, if our repentance 
be genuine, thorough, lasting. 

The preaching of Jesus brings a universal message 
of mercy, love, and hope. To whom does this word 
come? To a select and favored class? No, but to 
all men. Mark well the form of the words, " Re- 
pent ye," not, " Be ye repented." Is not this mes- 
sage one of large mercy and hope ? 

See yonder man, the victim of a hideous disorder. 
He is broken out all over with loathsome ulcers, re- 
pulsive to his friends, a burden and a misery to him- 
self, his life surely slipping away. The quack's 
prescription is, " Cover the ulcers with flesh-like 
plasters, and you will surely grow better." Is this 
merciful treatment? Is there any hope in it? And 
what now does his intelligent and kind physician 
say? " Repent ; repent at once; change immedi- 
ately your whole manner of life. The change 
must be instant, radical, thorough. It must in- 
clude your food, and drink, and associations, and 
sleep, and air, every thing. Do this, and the king- 
dom of health is at hand. Your ulcers will dis- 
appear, and you will be once more a well and 
strong man." Is not this the message the man 
needs, and is it not full of mercy and hope? 
This is the message of Jesus to men. Yes, it is 
his message this day to you. In imitation of 
him, I declare to you, in his name and on his 
gracious authority, " Repent ! Repent ! the king- 

198 CJiristian Manliness. 

dom of heaven is at hand/' Enter it. Keep its 
laws. Give it the first place in your plan of 
life. If you will submit yourself to the rule 
and service of its King he will guide you by his 
counsels here, and afterward he will receive you 
to glory ! 

The Moral Harvest. 199 


Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? 
behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields ; for 
they are white already to harvest. — John iv, 35. 

JESUS was a most unconventional teacher. 
Looked at from one side — from the point of view- 
occupied by the pious, steady-going, orthodox Jews 
■ — he was an irregular and disturbing preacher, and 
they so esteemed him. Looked at in a larger and 
broader spirit, and from a higher stand-point, as the 
divine Founder of an enduring, invisible, spiritual 
empire, uncaring of the accidents of race and time 
and clime and caste, his course was eminently 
rational, natural, and inevitable. 

The immediate context brings Jesus before us, 
where we may study him as an irregular Teacher if 
we take the narrow view ; or as an eminently regular 
Teacher if we take the truer, broader, and more 
sympathetic view. 

As he was returning from the city of Jerusalem 
to Galilee, after his first formal official visit to the 
capital of his nation, he reached, about noon, 
Jacob's well in Samaria, aad there, wearied and 
over-spent, he sat down upon the stones hard by 
the well, while his disciples went into the city to 
buy some meat. What were his communings and 

200 Christian Manliness. 

thoughts as he sat there? Nothing is more im- 
pressive than the silences of Jesus. I love to think 
of him as alone; and it is a help to one's spiritual 
life to try to imagine what he thought about at 
such times. 

While he was musing there and resting — for he 
was a man having a body capable of fatigue as our 
bodies — a woman of the city came with her water- 
pot on her head or shoulder to get water from 
Jacob's well. He knew who and what manner of 
woman she was before he spoke one word to her. 
Her heart and her life lay open before him like the 
pages of a book. Nevertheless he freely entered 
into conversation with her, and his method of ap- 
proaching her with the truth deserves to be noted, 
studied, and emphasized. First, he asked her for 
water to drink, and she was surprised that he, being 
a Jew, should ask drink of a woman of Samaria, for 
the Jews had no dealings with the Gentiles, and she 
at once expressed her great surprise. Whereupon 
Jesus replied that if she knew what kind of water 
he could give to her spirit she would ask him, and 
he would give her this living water. Thereupon she 
reproached him for believing himself to be wiser and 
stronger than their father Jacob, who gave them this 
well; and upon Jesus telling her that whosoever 
drank of the water of the well should thirst again, 
but that they who should have their spirits satisfied 
by the living water should never thirst, she at once 
wanted this living water, for she did not want to 
be constantly going to this well to draw water. 

The Moral Harvest. 201 

There are a good many people like her in this re- 
spect. There are many people who want water, but 
they do not want to draw it. She was not the only 
lazy person that ever lived. And if you spiritualize 
it, there are a great many people that want religious 
strength and peace, and religious joy and hope, but 
they do not want to draw any water; they do not 
want to do any Christian work ; they do not want 
to make any sacrifice, or to deny themselves, that 
they may have Christ's peace. 

Then Jesus said unto her, " Go and call thy hus- 
band." Ah! that opened a door into her secret 
heart, for she had no husband. She had had five 
husbands, and the man with whom she was now 
living was her paramour, and not her husband. At 
once she felt herself in the presence of a divinely 
gifted teacher. And how did she seek to parry the 
inquiry? By raising a question in theology — - 
" Where is it right to worship — on this mountain, 
or yonder at Jerusalem ? " Guilty as she was, she 
could still argue points in speculative theology, and 
so she wanted to know whether it was better to 
worship on Gerizim or go up to Jerusalem. The 
Lord answered her that the time had come when 
sincere men might worship the Father in spirit and 
in truth anywhere, every-where, either on Gerizim 
or at Jerusalem, or at any point between them, on 
the land or the sea, in the consecrated build- 
ing, or on the unconsecrated street — wherever there 
was a spirit that loved truth and sought good- 

202 Christian Manliness. 

While he was talking with the woman his disci- 
ples came back from the city, where they had been 
to buy meat for the frugal noon-day meal. They 
were surprised when they saw him talking to her; 
the text says " they marveled." If you will study the 
New Testament you will be surprised at the anxious 
concern these disciples had about the proper conduct 
of Jesus. They are like a certain class of people in 
every church, who are so anxious about the preacher, 
and about his reputation, that it shall be kept regu- 
lar, clean, and decorous, that they almost forget to 
take care of their own souls. These disciples were 
anxious their Lord should not do any thing irregu- 
lar, so when they saw him talking to this strange 
woman they " marveled." But they did not care to 
ask him any thing about it. Jesus was the ideal, so- 
cial Democrat of all time — he talked freely to all 
sorts of people. But he never allowed any body to 
ask him why he did it. He had true dignity, the 
dignity of person, of soul, of character, and these men 
who were surprised that he talked to this heretical 
woman (who added to laxity of doctrine looseness 
of life), these men whispered among themselves, 
but they did not dare to ask him why he talked 
to her. 

It seemed to them that the Master was in a 
dreamy, far-off sort of mood. They began to talk 
to him about eating, and he said, " I have meat to 
eat that ye know not of." They entirely misunder- 
stood him again, for they went aside and asked, 
" Has any man brought him to eat?" His mind 

The Moral Harvest. 203 

and spirit were in another realm ; they were think- 
ing about the meat they had with them. 

The barley fields that covered the valley all about 
prophesied harvest in four months, and, waiting for 
him to speak (for they had learned somewhat to 
respect the personal dignity of their Master), they 
were saying to themselves, " In four months from 
this time it will be time to cut the barley ; " and he 
said, " Say not ye, There are yet four months, and 
then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift 
up your eyes, and look on the fields ; for they are 
white already to harvest." They saw the barley 
fields; and he saw the harvest field that was opened 
before him by the presence and life of this woman. 
He was thinking of far more than they thought, as 
he had a yearning for men far deeper than any they 
had. He saw the moral harvest ready for the sickle 
of the reaper every-where ; but their minds were 
busy about the barley harvest. 

There be those who are skilled to discern times 
and seasons and opportune tides in the affairs of 
men in every realm except the spiritual and invisi- 
ble. These disciples, for example, knew the time 
to cut barley ; the Jewish leaders of this time could 
seize a political opportunity ; they knew exactly 
how to strike a bargain with Herod — they had stud- 
ied Herod, and rightly estimated the influences that 
put him in his place ; they understood Pilate, and 
when the time came to apprehend the Master they 
knew exactly what cry would bring Pilate to terms ; 

they understood facts and times and seasons and 

204 Christian Manliness. 

opportunities like these. But they did not discern 
the real signs of the times, and our Lord again and 
again reproached them for their ignorance in true 
moral discernment. 

There are men who can tell all about times and 
seasons in the social, political, and commercial 
worlds. There are farmers who know when it is 
time to sow and to reap ; there are merchants who 
know when to buy and when to sell ; there are 
those who know when to buy real estate ; there are 
a good many men who know when to buy real es- 
tate at the lowest, and they would seem to have an 
almost divinely gifted capacity of knowing when to 
sell it at the highest. I have in mind a preacher 
(it was no fault of his) who made money by buying 
and selling real estate. The truth of it was that he 
was originally intended to be a money-maker, and 
he could not help buying property when it was low 
and selling it when it was high. There are men 
who know when to buy " long" and when to buy 
"short" in the market. There are men who know 
what the political drifts are. The popular voice 
is so strong in these days that no politician any 
more pretends to tell the people what they ought 
to do. The science of politics is reduced to find- 
ing out what the people are going to have done, 
and then making haste to get on that side of 
the fence. There are many men skilled to dis- 
cern the force and direction of political drifts and 

But when, in the realm of moral activity, there 

The Moral Harvest. 205 

be those who maintain that there are times and sea- 
sons, that there is a time to sow and a time to reap ; 
that there are times for ingatherings and times for 
aggression, there be some who say, " O no, not in 
religion ; in religion all goes along regularly ; in re- 
ligion every thing must be smooth ; in religion 
there is to be no sudden influx of people ; in relig- 
ion there must be no wayes of excitement, no sea- 
sons of great interest; in religion all must be quiet 
and orderly." The result of which is that churches 
are now waiting in some mysterious way for God to 
go to these people that are without hope and with- 
out righteousness and without love, and compel 
them to embrace the religious life. There are times 
and seasons in religion ; there are times when the 
harvests are ripe. You may be surprised at the 
statement, you may be disposed to resent it, but 
there are preachers who know more about signs and 
indications in the moral realm than any other man 
in the Church. I assert for the ministers of Christ, 
where they are sincere and earnest, a superior ca- 
pacity to detect and discern such drifts, such ten- 
dencies, such signs. I would be regarded as an 
impertinent meddler should I go into the counting- 
room of any man in this church and tell him when 
to buy and sell. He would justly tell me that he 
had mastered his business, that he had been appren- 
ticed to it for years, and understood its secrets and 
knew when to buy and sell. And so I affirm that 
where a preacher's heart is wholly in this matter, 
where he gives himself to the service of religion with 

206 Christian Manliness. 

hearty and entire devotion, the judgment of the 
average faithful pastor concerning the spiritual phe- 
nomena is truer than that of any other man in the 
community. Jesus knew better than the disciples, 
better than the world, when the harvest was ripe ; 
and so if one will devote his life to the study of 
spiritual phenomena he can foretell spiritual results 
with surprising prescience. 

I remark again, that we should closely inquire 
into the causes of that weakness of spiritual vision 
by which we either dimly see, or do not see at all, 
the whiteness of religious harvest fields. It was 
important, indeed, that these disciples should know 
why it was that Jesus saw what they did not see. 
They saw barley fields ; he saw the field of the 
world. They had meat in their baskets, and he saw 
the hunger of the human spirit. There was some 
ground for the difference between them — what was 
it ? Was the fault in the moral opaqueness of the 
disciples, or in the fact that after all there was no 
harvest field ready for the sickle ? Jesus saw a har- 
vest field ; they did not see it. Why did not they 
see it ? 

The first reason was that they were narrow and 
bigoted. " The Jews have no dealing with the Sa- 
maritans." If Jesus had not been with them, and 
they had reached the well, and this woman of Sama- 
ria had come where they were, they would have 
gathered up their holy skirts and moved off as 
though she was a foul and accursed thing ; they 
would have had nothing to do with her. They 

The Moral Harvest. 207 

were more anxious about food for their bodies than 
food for such souls. 

Nor is this all. They were proud. This woman 
— who is she ? This woman that has had five hus- 
bands, and is now living in a loose way with a man 
who is not her husband — shall we speak to her, or 
tarry with her? Certainly not! That was their 

Not only so, but it was a spirit of selfishness. 
They thought: " We have the Master to ourselves, 
and we will keep him ; John shall be secretary of 
state, James shall be secretary of war, and Peter 
shall be prime minister of the new kingdom. Do 
you suppose we will share the Messiah with this low 
woman?" They had the spirit of monopoly, the 
spirit of accursed caste, the most devilish spirit that 
ever escaped from the nether kingdom. No won- 
der men possessed of such a spirit could see no fields 
ready for the harvest. 

Friends, weakness of vision does not always argue 
that there is nothing to see. Weakness of vision 
may argue the decaying power of the orb of vision. 
I go to a saloon, I go to a race-course, I go to some 
gambling hell, and I take a man that lives in his 
eyes and ears, and especially in his mouth and stom- 
ach. He has been living there for many years; 
food and drink, and every thing that pampers and 
gratifies his body, have made up his life. I say to 
him, " Come with me, and I will show you the higher 
joys and deeper pleasures of the intellect, the heart, 
the conscience," and I take him to the schools, or 

2o8 Christian Manliness. 

the home circle, or to the church, where people live 
in a higher realm of being; where they live in books, 
in ideas, in pictures, and in music; where they live 
in the holy loves' of the family, of purity, of right- 
eousness, live unselfishly, self sacrificingly — and I say 
to him, " Look at these things." And he says, " I 
don't see any thing so very attractive about all this. 
I call it stale, flat, insipid. Do you ever go to a 
race ? Did you ever hear the glasses clink in the 
bar-room ? Did you ever drink to a man's health ? 
That is poor stuffthere — looking at pictures, singing 
hymns, and reading books." To him it is tame 
and flat. Why? Because there are no pure pleas- 
ures here ? No ; but because he has no eyes to see. 
And why is it that so many do not see the harvest 
fields in the world ? Because they have no eyes to 
see guilt and moral misery ; because they have noth- 
ing that enables them to touch with the skillful tact 
of love the guilty, frail, and breaking hearts that 
long have waited for the light and love of God ! 

The spirit of Jesus, by which he was enabled to 
see these harvest fields, is to be had only by those 
who obey his laws and enter into his spirit. Now 
let us take this scene and break it up into its parts, 
in order that we may learn why Jesus saw 
what the disciples did not see. The first thing 
he saw was that here was an opportunity to 
preach the Gospel to one woman. Well, many 
preachers of the present time would not have 
accepted the opportunity. The disciples would 
not have accepted it. That was a strange pul- 

The Moral Harvest, 209 

pit — the stones of Jacob's well — and what an 
unusual audience it was : one person, and she a 
woman ! To be a woman even now implies some 
disadvantages ; but then to be a woman was to be — 
a good deal less than a man ! This was an heret- 
ical woman ; this was an immoral woman ; and yet, 
standing on the stones of Jacob's well, with one 
auditor, and she a heretic, Jesus preached one of 
the greatest sermons he ever preached, and 
announced some of the most wonderful of his 
teachings. We would not have done it, many of 
us ; we would have waited for a larger and a more 
respectable audience ; we would have waited to 
preach such a sermon in some great place ; but 
Jesus had in him the spirit that never despised any 
opportunity to preach or to do good. 

In the next place, he had the secret of reverent 
courage. I do not mean the courage that is con- 
founded with audacity or recklessness. I mean 
reverent courage, courage that could fearlessly face 
and sternly rebuke the traditional spirit that 
remorselesly crushed human hearts. He would 
not take away one jot or tittle of the law, but all 
the traditions that men had invented and tacked on 
to the law — he denounced them, and broke away 
from them, as here. He talked to a woman to 
whom no Jewish priest would have dared to have 
said a word. 

He had the spirit of sympathy ; a gift, I some- 
times fear, which is rapidly dying out of the Church. 
He knew the ache at this woman's heart, and there 

210 Christian Manliness. 

are few people any more who even pretend to know 
it. He knew the visions that came to her of her 
lost innocence and purity ; he knew that she 
thought of the time when she was a girl as pure as 
the flowers that grew by the side of the paths along 
which she walked, or as pure as the heaven into 
which she looked. There are those who seem to 
deny that there are any aches in the hearts of those 
who are far from goodness and purity. Sunday after 
Sunday, men and women enter the doors of our 
churches and from their faces or words you would 
not know the heavy burdens they carry; and how 
few there be who know that these souls need help 
and kindness and sympathy ! 

The spirit of Jesus, once more, was the spirit of 
open communion with the Father ! " I have meat 
to eat that ye know not of." He was thinking of 
food for his spirit, they of food for their bodies ; 
he was thinking of his Father, "I must finish the 
work my Father sent me to do ; " and they were 
thinking how long it would be until the reapers 
would cut down the barley. So it was that Jesus, 
living in open communion with his Father, saw 
what was hidden from his disciples. 

Whoever will take life's humblest opportunities 
and be faithful to them, whoever will have reverent 
courage, the courage that takes off the hat before 
qualities and keeps it on in the presence of mere 
semblances, a courage that could strike down 
tradition and lift up a guilty woman, the spirit 
that could question tradition and die for purity — 

The Moral Harvest. 2 1 1 

whoever has this spirit, and the spirit of open com- 
munion with God, will see the white harvest fields 
of the world. Lift up your eyes and look upon 
them ! Lift up your eyes and look upon the fields 
covered by the words honest doubt. Do you know 
that there is such a thing as honest doubt? Do you 
know that there are a great many aching hearts now 
in the condition of honest doubters? You think 
not. When an aged woman tells me, as she washes 
and irons in the fourth story of a tenement house, 
in a small room as hot as a furnace, that her son-in- 
law has amassed a large fortune, and is a member 
of a great church, and her daughter has thousands 
at her disposal, I can know something about why 
she should ask, " Where is He whom I have -served 
from my earliest childhood ? " That is not a question 
that infidels ask ; that is a question forced out of a 
suffering human heart by the hardness of life's lot. 
She is not alone in such questionings. 

Lift up your eyes and look upon the fields that 
are indicated by the words pain and suffering. 
Have you any idea how much pain and suffering 
there is in the world that needs the message of the 
Gospel ? Have you ever, when your nerves throbbed 
with pain, have you ever, when your system was in 
a fierce fire of fever, have you ever thought then, 
not of your own present personal suffering, but of 
the great world's agony ? Do you know any thing of 
what the great Garfield once called "the undiscovered 
mystery of pain ? " and do you have any pity at all 
for those who live lives of pain and suffering? 

212 Cliristian Manliness. 

Lift up your eyes and look upon the field repre- 
sented by guilt, by moral waste, wretchedness, and 
misery. Do you ever think of that field? How 
many young men are there, do you suppose, in 
New York and Brooklyn, who are being wasted and 
will be ruined before the middle of next April? 
Not less than ten thousand ! A close observer 
estimates that New York and Brooklyn, with the 
out-lying towns, constitute the moral maelstrom 
which swallows up ten thousand unwary youths 
every year. Dead from rum, dead from lust, dead 
from gambling, dead by the pistol, dead by the 
plunge into the dark river! Do you see them ? Do 
you see the fields that are white already unto the 
harvest ? Do you still ask me to be calm, do you 
still ask me to be decorous and quiet, do you still 
ask me to be content with the moral indifference I 
see about me? I might if I did not partially see 
the field ; but He who sat, weary, on the stones of 
Jacob's well has so far led me into his spirit that I 
see somewhat of the need of the world — the hunger 
of man's spirit for God, the yearning of the human 
heart for the divine love. I seem to see the feet 
that are slipping, slipping, slipping ! I seem to hear 
the voices of those that cry out, " No man careth 
for my soul ! " I seem to see and to be touched 
with a feeling of sympathy for those whose hearts 
ache over a lost purity ! 

O that God would give so much of his Spirit 
to all his Churches, and so spur them to prayer, and 
faith, and work, and love, that if a woman of 

The Moral Harvest. 2 1 3 

Samaria should come down the broad aisle of our 
most wealthy and aristocratic church all hearts 
would be melted at the sight of the woman's 
penitence! And then, after a hundred years, would 
that God might raise up a Church divine enough, 
and Christ-like enough, not to wait until such came 
down the aisle, but would seek them out, and bring 
them to the healing and benignant Christ ! O 
that we all might henceforth enter into the " un- 
hasting, unresting" activity of Jesus, in which is 
the peace and blessedness and power of God ! 

214 Christian Manliness. 


And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man Otters, 
having never learned ? Jesus answered them, and said, My doc- 
trine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his 
will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether 
I speak of myself. — John vii, 15-17. 

For such a high-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, unde- 

filed, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. 

Heb. vii, 26. 

The intellectual doubter of the nineteenth cent- 
ury is accustomed to speak of Jesus in terms of 
high laudation. He extols his singular purity of 
character, his gentleness and graciousness of de- 
meanor, his kindness and patience and forbearance 
to those who opposed themselves, his tender sym- 
pathy with the poor, the weak, the wronged, and 
the suffering, his devoted, disinterested life, and the 
meekness and mercifulness of the spirit in which he 
met his death. He is spoken of as "the greatest 
Hebrew," yea, as " the greatest man " who has ever 
appeared in the entire history of the world; he was 
a great reformer, a great religious teacher, a pro- 
found moral philosopher. The human race is vastly, 
yea, immeasurably, indebted to him ; he has inspired 
and stimulated and directed the progress, the moral 
progress especially, of mankind, as no other char- 
acter known to us ; his contributions to human vir- 
tue, and hence to human happiness, have been 

The Greatness of Jesus. 215 

greater than those of any other single member of 
the race. These are the expressions frequently 
found on the lips of those who preserve either a 
neutral or a hostile attitude to the divine claims of 
Jesus Christ. Our Lord was once buried in a rock- 
tomb ; he is in danger now of being buried in a 
grave of flowers — beautiful and fragrant flowers 
they are, but they have been secretly sprinkled with 
concealed deadly poison. We who own him as the 
Master of our souls, as the supreme Lord of our 
worship, and love, and duty, and life, are not thus 
tamely to surrender him to his foes. He is more than 
a great Hebrew, more than an inspired prophet, 
more than an acute and eminent religious reformer, 
more than a pro r ound moral philosopher, more than 
a highly gifted moral genius — " He is over all, God 
blessed for evermore ! " 

In seeking to-night to ascertain who and what he 
was, in a calm and reverent and earnest way, I 
assume the fewest possible number of universally 
conceded facts. I assume that there was born in 
Palestine, nearly nineteen hundred years ago, the 
person we call Jesus ; that his reputed parents were 
plain, ordinary, humble Jewish folk, without either 
genius or rank or wealth ; that he spent his youth 
and grew to manhood in the contemned and de- 
graded province of Galilee ; that at the age of thirty 
or thereabout he publicly assumed the functions of 
a religious teacher ; that four short sketches of his 
life were written either by men who companied with 
him from the beginning or who had access to original 

216 Christian Manliness. 

sources of information ; that these sketches contain 
a reliable account of what he said, of how he lived, 
of the substance of his teaching, of what manner of 
man he was ; that the leaders of the Jewish people 
believed him to be a disturbing, dangerous, and rev- 
olutionary teacher, and that, prompted by the mixed 
motives of religious zeal, selfishness, and envy, they 
brought about his death under the procuratorship 
of Pontius Pilate ; and that the Christian religion, 
with all that these great words imply, sprang from 
what he said and did and was. I do not, for the 
purposes of this hour, take for granted the reality 
of any of the supernatural works that the writers 
of these lives ascribe to him. I simply assume that 
he appeared, acted, and taught in substance as these 
lives record ; and on this strong basis of solid fact, 
now conceded by all competent scholars and think- 
ers, I ask you candidly and dispassionately to study 
with me his intellectual and moral greatness, and 
see if they do not significantly point with great, 
ever-increasing, and at last convincing force to his 
superhumanity in nature and origin. 

The intellectual greatness of Jesus will appear if 
we consider his entire independence of circum- 
stances. Intellectual greatness is not an uncaused 
phenomenon. To beings like ourselves, with our 
faculties and range of vision, whatever is must come 
from something that has been. We are not living 
in a blind, an orderless, a causeless universe. It is 
the latest dictum of science itself that for every 
phenomenon there must be some adequate explana- 

The Greatness of Jesus. 217 

ation — not only that every effect must have a cause, 
but that every effect must have a rational and com- 
petent cause. Intellectual facts or phenomena do 
not constitute an exception to this general rule. 
They, too, are in the vise of law. Intellectual power 
has its conditions, its necessary antecedents. You 
are aware that a certain class of scholars have been 
somewhat puzzled concerning the intellectual great- 
ness of Shakespeare, for there is exhibited in his 
tragedies and comedies and historical dramas not 
only marvelous mental acuteness and fertility, not 
only an accurate and profound knowledge of human 
nature, but no inconsiderable amount of what we 
technically style learning. How, now, did he ob- 
tain this knowledge ? The earlier part of Shakes- 
peare's life is wrapped in comparative obscurity ; 
our information concerning that period is not as 
ample as could be desired, and those who are dis- 
satisfied with the theory of the Shakesperean author- 
ship of the works usually attributed to him assign 
as the reason for their objection that no explanation 
can be given of his remarkable historical knowledge, 
or any time specified when he could have acquired 
the large general information unquestionably ex- 
hibited in his dramas and tragedies. Lord Bacon 
had the time and the opportunities necessary to ac- 
quire this information, and he is the only contem- 
porary of Shakespeare who seems to have possessed 
the needed original intellectual qualifications ; and 
the hypothesis of this class of reasoners is that Bacon 
is the author of the so-called Shakesperean plays. 

2i8 Christian Manliness. 

The question is precisely what it was with the Jews 
in our Lord's day. " How knoweth this man let- 
ters, having never learned ? " Mark well the cir- 
cumstances of Jesus, how confining and dulling and 
deadening they were. There was nothing in his 
immediate family to predict intellectual greatness ; 
there was nothing in his early occupation that would 
naturally lead to intellectual greatness; his native 
country was not an intellectual country, such as 
Greece; he never attended any famous school; he 
never traveled outside of Palestine, and therefore 
he could not know the broadening, liberalizing, edu- 
cating effects of foreign travel ; whatever scholastic 
training he received must have been in the school 
connected with the synagogue, in the village of 
Nazareth. We are sufficiently familiar with the 
general spirit of these schools, and of the eminent 
teachers of his time, to know that, so far from such 
instruction having a tendency to lead forth and 
strengthen the intellectual faculties, the contrary 
was the truth : that these schools and teachers were 
occupied with small and petty questions of days, 
washings, tithes, slavish traditions, and various op- 
pressive legalisms, and that they omitted the weight- 
ier matters of the law, such as justice and judgment, 
morality and truth. Such were the surroundings of 
Jesus, and yet it is freely confessed by all men that 
he rose superior to the dwarfing and deadening 
power of these circumstances ; that alike in his per- 
sonal spirit and in the scope and substance of his 
teaching he was unlike any rabbi who might have 

The Greatness of Jesus. 2 1 9 

taught him ; utterly unlike his countrymen ; that 
he was conspicuously free from any of the influ- 
ences that must have gathered about him during 
his boyhood and youth in the province of Galilee. 

Not only so, but he showed himself to be absolute- 
ly above the power of circumstances. He exhibited 
that high and peculiar kind of intellectual greatness 
which shows its presence and power by the removal 
of obstacles, by the mastery of circumstances, by 
the conquest of difficulties. One who has had such 
intellectual opportunities as were afforded the late 
Mr. Sumner is expected to achieve intellectual emi- 
nence ; and the reason why, in the future history 
of this country, it will be confessed that Abraham 
Lincoln was a greater man than Mr. Sumner is 
that with no such opportunities as the Massachu- 
setts senator, either in the public school, or the 
academy, or the university, or by foreign travel, or 
by association with the scholarly and the cultured, 
he was found, when called to a perilous post in a 
great national crisis, to be greater with slight op- 
portunities than Mr. Sumner with ample and splen- 
did opportunities. It is the presence in Jesus of 
this form of intellectual greatness, to a degree abso- 
lutely unique and unparalleled, which more and 
more attracts the attention of thoughtful men in 
their study of the vast influence which he has hith- 
erto exercised, and which he seems to continue to 
exercise, on the thought and conduct of the best 
and strongest men of the race. 

In the second place, Jesus pierced at once to the 

220 Christian Manliness. 

heart of things, and saw the truth as in open vision. 
There are two ways of arriving at truth — by logic 
and by insight : by reasoning to it, and by divining 
it ; by laboriously plodding after it, and by simply 
finding it. The latter is one of the great character- 
istics of genius. The presence of fruitful genius in 
any great department of human thought or activity 
is betokened by the power to see at a glance what 
other men, tardy-footed, reach by slow and labori- 
ous processes. Jesus SAW the truth. He seldom 
argued about it ; he seldom reasoned about it. 
There is no formal argument for the existence of 
God, for the obligatoriness of duty, for the spiritual 
nature and destiny of man in the preserved dis- 
courses of Jesus. He was open to the truth, and 
the truth was open to him. He found it by seeing 
it ; he simply announced, declared, uttered what 
he saw, and there is not a single hint or suggestion 
anywhere that he came to his truth by any dia- 
lectical method. The relation of logic to the truth 
of Jesus is the same as that of the technique of 
music to the singing of the meadow lark on a May 
morning. To the religious mind there is much 
truth in the parable of the prodigal son — more truth 
than many of us have capacity as yet to receive. 
But there is no major premiss in it, there is no 
minor premiss, there is no formal drawing of a con- 
clusion from foregoing premisses, no acute dialec- 
tics. It is a picture ; a picture of what the heart of 
a truly loving father is toward a wayward, guilty, 
and repentant son, and as painted by Jesus it is a 

The Greatness of Jesus, 221 

picture of what the heart of God perpetually is to 
all his wayward children. But he did not argue it ; 
he did not prove it; he SAW it as in open vision, 
and then painted the picture in a few simple words. 
The quality of the truth thus disclosed by Jesus 
needs to be briefly emphasized in passing. I take 
two examples of the peculiar and lofty quality of 
the truth which Jesus saw and declared : and, first, 
Jesus taught that the reformation of society is al- 
ways to proceed by the divine regeneration of the 
individual. He never, indeed, stated it in that pre- 
cise language. I cannot see things as he did ; I 
must state them the best I can. Nevertheless, a 
patient study of the New Testament without bias 
and without prejudice impresses every thoughtful 
and reverent man with this truth, that Jesus aimed 
at the reformation of society by the regeneration oi 
the individual. I mean, for example, that he 
did not aim at the reformation of society by the 
sudden or radical change of any institution. The 
cruel institution of slavery was cramping men then ; 
the social state of woman was demoralizing in the 
extreme ; he never formally considered these im- 
portant topics. The civil laws that were then im- 
posed upon the conquered nations by the Romans 
were crude, partial, at times sanguinary, but he 
made no proclamation for a reformation of the laws. 
He did teach, quietly, constantly, solemnly, that 
each individual man, by the pressure upon his heart 
and conscience of the truth, and by the efficient co- 
operation of a spiritual Power outside of man, should 

222 Christian Manliness. 

be re-molded and re-fashioned until the law of duty, 
as interpreted in the atmosphere of love, should be 
the law of his life. As you improve men themselves, 
they will gradually and permanently change their 
institutions. It requires no argument to see that 
if you make right men they will fashion for them- 
selves right institutions. The world's way is to get 
right institutions, right laws, right customs, right 
methods and instruments, hoping that with these 
right men will appear. The method of Jesus was 
first to get right men, and then through them a 
right society, and so at last a right world would 
come. We are still very much in doubt about it, 
but whenever the world has won any new ground, 
and kept it, the secret of the permanent advance 
is to be found in the appearance of men and women 
who confess the presence in their hearts of the re- 
generating Spirit. 

Another illustration of the quality of his truth 
maybe stated in this language : Jesus declared that 
love was the supreme purifying agent in the soul of 
man. He did not teach that love was a purifying 
agent he did not teach that love was a powerful 
purifying agent, but he taught, with all possible 
clearness and emphasis, that love was the supreme, 
all-powerful, purifying agent in the spirit of man. 
The question how man's spirit is to be emancipated 
from the thrall and corruption of evil passions has 
ever been an earnest question with those who have 
been given to ethical thought. The Lord answered 
the question again and again by declaring, " Thou 

TJie Greatness of Jesus. 223 

shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and mind, and soul, and strength, and thy neighbor 
as thyself." He never altered his teaching, never 
diminished it, never minified it, never compromised 
it, but to the very last he taught that the complete 
moral restoration and health of any human spirit 
was to proceed under the inspiring and cleansing 
mastery of love, and that for love there was no 
substitute in the heavens above or in the earth 
beneath. We are afraid to believe that ; modern 
society does not even profess to believe it, and the 
Church, which does not profess to believe it, is busily 
engaged in paring it down, and trying to accom- 
modate it to human infirmity and prejudice. I raise 
this question : How would you, how would society, 
how would the world, restore to purity a woman lost 
to it ? The first answer to that question by the men 
of the world is that no actual reformation is possible. 
I speak advisedly: it is the deliberate opinion of a 
majority of the men of the world that such a Woman 
is incapable of moral restoration. What we call 
" society," that is, "society" in Christian countries, 
practically declares that such a creature must be left 
to perish in her pollution. There is no possible 
cure for the evil ; but by building up high walls, 
and walls as thick as high, society may so stigmatize 
the transgressor as to leave her in the outer darkness, 
without hope of purity and peace. ' The man who 
compassed the ruin may indeed be there received, 
may indeed be there honored, and feted, and flat- 
tered, but for the unhappy victim of his hellish 

224 Christian Manliness. 

lust society has no open door. The man of penalties, 
whether he be a natural scientist, or an austere 
agnostic, or a theologian of the letter, declares that 
the only reformation possible in such a case is 
by a strict infliction of the law of penalty. " She 
has sinned ; she must now suffer the inevitable pen- 
alties of her sin. Show her to what an awful end 
she hastens ; deter her by these terrors, and if they 
will not alarm her, nothing remains but the leap into 
the sullen river at night, to be followed by the un- 
known body awaiting identification at the morgue. 
Show her that not only in this life, but also in 
the life to come, the law of penalty shall pursue and 
smite and destroy." Now, suppose there could be 
born in such a creature (I do not say that such 
a thing is possible, but we will try to imagine it), 
suppose there was born in her heart a holy love — I 
care not whether it be for man or woman, so that in 
her deepest spiritual nature a genuine overmaster- 
ing affection for some pure soul is born — is there 
not hope? And is there any other hope? There 
was such a woman once in a Galilean town, and at 
a feast where the rich and the powerful and the 
learned were, came the sinful and the fair, and the 
giver of the feast sneered and scorned, and the 
disciples gathered close about the Lord, fearful lest 
he might be compromised as she stooped and 
bowed her head, and rained her hot tears down on 
his unsandaled feet, and loosed the long tresses of 
her hair, that she might wipe away the signs of her 
shame and penitence. And what did he say? "Her 

Tlie Greatness of Jesus. 225 

sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved 
much." For she loved much! In the teaching of 
Jesus, love is the prophecy of coming purity, light, 
and peace ! 

These two truths are universal ; they will always 
apply ; they will apply under a government by 
aristocracy, under a government by monarchy, 
under a government by democracy ; they will apply 
in the frigid zone, where it is difficult to baptize 
people by immersion, and they will apply also in 
the, torrid zone, where immersion is the natural 
mode of baptism ; they will apply where the genius 
of the people would lead them to reject Calvinism, 
and they will apply where the genius of the people 
would lead them to reject Arminianism. These 
two fundamental truths of Jesus — that the reforma- 
tion of society is to proceed by the regeneration of 
the individual, and that in the restoration of a guilty 
soul nothing whitens like the glowing fires of love — 
apply every-where, apply in all places and under all 
circumstances, apply under every condition known 
to man. We need to fix it in our hearts that for 
this race on this globe there will never come a time 
when they will be outworn or fall into desuetude. 
They are more real and abiding than the solid bases 
of the everlasting mountains. The Eternal is in 

The intellectual greatness of Jesus will appear if 
we consider the nature of the work he outlined for 
himself; a work so unique, elevated, and sublime 
that it could be clearly conceived, strongly grasped, 

226 Christian Manliness. 

and steadily held only by a supernatural mind. 
What was that work? He proposed the establish- 
ment on the earth, by the operation of purely moral 
forces, of a universal spiritual kingdom. A universal 
spiritual kingdom, I say. Men had dreamed before 
his time of universal kingdoms. The thought of 
a race community was not a new thought with Jesus, 
nor was it confined to that part of the world alone ; 
whether consciously or unconsciously, the Baby- 
lonian kings had striven for a political union of all 
kingdoms ; Alexander the Great dreamed of polit- 
ical unity; if Julius Caesar did not distinctly pro- 
pose a world empire, he did contemplate such an 
aggregation of the various political units as should 
secure the political hegemony of Rome ; if Charle- 
magne did not dream of a universal kingdom, he 
did dream of a union of men in a political confeder- 
ation as extensive as the continent of Europe. Men 
have dreamed of an intellectual kingdom that should 
be universal. It was the thought of Aristotle, and 
it is the thought of the most eminent thinker of 
our time on philosophical subjects, Mr. Herbert 
Spencer, who has for the dream and vision of his 
life the co-ordination of all truth into one vast uni- 
versal and harmonious system that will explain all 
phenomena. The kingdom of Jesus is a spiritual 
kingdom ; not an intellectual, not a political king- 
dom, but a kingdom in which the subjects are to 
be the conscious children of God, ruled by love, puri- 
ity, truth, justice, righteousness, blossoming into high 
moral and spiritual experiences. It was to be the 

The Greatness of Jesus. 227 

reign of God, as some one has strongly said, " in 
men, not over them." It is the new spiritual reign 
by which all men are to be re-molded and re-fashioned, 
created anew after the image of God. It is the final 
triumph of good and God over every form of moral 
and physical evil. It is to be universal in fact and 
in time; it is to embrace all men, and through these 
men all institutions, all governments, all industries, 
all literatures, all art, all policies, all traditions ; it 
is to be universal in point of time — it is to be an 
ever-growing, never-ending kingdom. Other king- 
doms shall wax and wane, and at last perish from 
off the face of the earth. This kingdom shall go 
on forever ; its highest glories, its most magnificent 
victories, are reserved for a higher life and a purely 
spiritual sphere. 

This kingdom was to make its way in the world 
by the operation of purely moral forces. Its King 
distinctly repudiated the use of coercion ; the aid of 
government is not to be invoked. " Master, shall 
we call down fire from*heaven to burn them up?" 
"Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of! " 
" Peter, put up thy sword." Not by any physical 
force is this kingdom to be founded or finally es- 
tablished. How, then ? Be good ; let your light 
shine ; win men by love ; serve others ; lose your 
own life ; serve those most who need you most ; 
bow yourself down, be like him, wait, be patient ; 
the times and the seasons are his, and he shall yet 
be all in all. 

What a work! How petty seem the projects of 

228 Christian Manliness. 

Alexander and Napoleon ! No such work was ever 
before conceived by mortal mind. An acute Amer- 
ican thinker, Horace Bushnell, tells us that upon 
this single fact in Christ's life a profound German 
scholar, Reinhard, constructs a most powerful and 
convincing argument for the supernaturalness of 
Jesus. He went into a formal review of all the 
great founders of states, all the great lawgivers, all 
the prophet-founders of religions, all the philoso- 
phers, all the wise kings, and found as a fact that 
this idea of Jesus had never before been taken up 
by any living character in history. And yet, at 
thirty years of age, it is the easy and familiar thought 
of a Galilean artisan ; at thirty years of age, with 
such a thought he is not ostentatious or vain ; nor 
does he parade it, as geniuses are wont to exhibit 
their intellectual children. Nor was he in haste. 
He said it was first a " seed " — yea, the smallest of 
all seeds ; u first the blade, and then the ear, and 
after that the full corn in the ear." He never was 
ambitious ; he never was feverish ; he was calm, 
quiet, patient with this great thought. 

It is precisely here that his intellectual greatness 
meets, blends with, and is swallowed up by his 
moral greatness. To conceive of such a thought re- 
quires more than acuteness, more than sagacity, 
more than training, more than worldly wisdom ; it 
requires a mind of a peculiar moral tone ! I may 
employ a term more and more coming into use and 
significance, and say that the intellect must be " eth- 
icalized " before it can see such visions, or dream 

The Greatness of Jesus. 229 

such dreams, or think such thoughts. No one could 
dream of this kingdom unless he believed that love 
was mightier than penalty, right stronger than 
force ; the thought of such a kingdom could not be 
believed except by a heart open to the truth of 
the cross — that is, that the immeasurable power of 
God is to be sought in the capacity of his love to 

The great sage of China, Confucius, toward the 
close of his long and illustrious career, said one day 
to his disciples, as they gathered about him, " I sup- 
pose that in letters I am equal to other men ; but 
the character of the perfect man, carrying out in his 
conduct what he professes, is what I have not yet 
attained to." Did Jesus ever speak in that way? 
Did he ever confess lack of attainment ? Did he 
ever say that he failed to realize his own ideal ? Did 
he ever acknowledge that he failed to carry out in 
his conduct what he professed in his words? Where 
is the indication that he ever shrank or faltered from 
the solemn declaration of his absolute sinlessness? 
He stood in the midst of the men of his time, and 
said, " Which of you convinceth me of sin ? " Who 
has convinced him of sin? Was he not sinless? 
If sin touched him, how? where? Was he merci- 
less? Was he ambitious? Was he selfish ? Was 
he wickedly angry ? Was he not just, righteous, and 
true? Moreover, when did he need to spur him- 
self to duty? When was it necessary for him to 
revive his flagging spirit in its love of righteousness ? 
He needed to sustain his body, but where did he 

230 Christian Manliness, 

begin to break down ethically? If he spoke a false 
word, where is the word ? If he exhibited an un- 
holy temper, where did he exhibit it? If he was 
selfish, where was he so? If he asked others to do 
what he did not fulfill himself, when and where did 
he ask them to do it ? I appeal to his enemies! 
Have they ever found one speck of moral impurity, 
one indication of selfishness, one single act of willful- 
ness, one slight deviation from absolute rectitude ! If 
they have, his perfect holiness is gone, and the King 
of the new kingdom is dethroned, for he built his 
kingship upon the deep and necessary truth that 
that which he exacted of all men he fulfilled in his 
own conduct and life. And they answer not ! It 
is neither a Parker, nor a Strauss, nor a Renan, nor 
even an Ingersoll who has ever attempted to con- 
vict him of disloyalty, of self-seeking, of impurity, 
for he is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate 
from sinners. How happens it, then, that he not 
only appeared as the custodian of this great and 
divine idea, but that he, and he alone, has succeeded 
in presenting himself to men as the pure, radiant, 
spotless, perfect Being, who has ever appeared in the 
history of the worlds? 

We return to the well-known conditions of his 
life. Consider who he was in his family, his work, 
his social and intellectual environment ; consider 
where he lived for thirty years, consider all the un- 
toward circumstances of his early life, and then at- 
tempt to account for his mighty work and being by 
hypotheses of his humanity ! Stand now in his 

The Greatness of Jesus. 231 

presence with your theories of a great prophet, a 
great moral genius, a great religious reformer ! 
How does it happen that such a being, under such 
circumstances, had this great, supreme, all embrac- 
ing idea, and was continuously loyal to it ? How 
does it happen that from the carpenter's bench in a 
small village, in a degraded province of a despised 
country, one came out to the world and thralled — ■ 
not the feeble men, not the weak nations, but begin- 
ning with Paul, and going to Greece and Rome, he 
comes down the centuries, erecting his cross every- 
where among the strong and robust nations. The 
torpid and decaying nations of the slumberous East 
might indeed allow him to pass by, but how are we 
to account for the fact that the aggressive, conquer- 
ing, liberty-loving, duty-serving peoples of the con- 
tinent of Europe, the great tribes that settled the 
West, the great Teutonic stock especially, the na- 
tions that rule the world, should be so influenced 
by his life and love and righteousness that they 
should worship him as God ? What is the explana- 
tion ? 

The answer is that supernatural thoughts were 
natural to him, because he was a supernatural be- 
ing ; divine ideas were familiar to him, because 
he was divine ; he was sinless, because he was the 
Sinless One incarnate ; he was calm, patient, confi- 
dent of ultimate victory, because he was the Ancient 
of Days, whose goings forth had been from everlast- 
ing; because in his right hand he held all treasures 
of time ; because he surely touched all secret springs 

232 Christian Manliness. 

of power and influence ; because as a map, and as a 
picture, the ages and the consummations of eter- 
nity were open before him ! " And the Jews mar- 
veled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, hav- 
ing never learned? Jesus answered them, and 
said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent 
me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of 
the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I 
speak of myself." " Philip saith unto him " (and 
we all say it with Philip), " Lord, show us the Father, 
and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I 
been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not 
known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen 
the Father." And so, at last do we cry out with 
Thomas, each for himself, " My Lord and my 

The Call of Abraham. 233 


Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, 
and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that 
I will show thee : and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will 
bless thee, and make thy name great ; and thou shalt be a blessing: 
and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth 
thee : and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. — Gen. 
xii, i-j. 

These words describe, in its divine aspects or re- 
lations, one of the most noteworthy and significant 
events in the world's history. This pivotal historic 
fact is the call of Abram to be the first clear wit- 
ness to the divine unity, the Father of the Jewish 
people, and the Founder of the Jewish Church, out 
of which, in the end, the Christian Church should 
spring and develop, by whose agency and power in 
turn the kingdom of God among men should at last 
be realized. Truly, then, may this great fact be 
remarked as one of the pivotal points of Old World 
history. The purely temporal or secular side of 
this transaction carries in it nothing extraordinary 
or unique. It relates how Terah, the father of 
Abraham, started from Ur of the Chaldees, with 
his entire family, to settle anew in the land of 
Canaan. Even then, it seems, the star of empire 
was beginning to wend its way westward. The 
first considerable stage of their journey brought 
them as far as Haran, between the Tigris and Eu- 

234 Christian Manliness. 

phrates rivers, on the southern, or rather south- 
western, slope of the Armenian Mountains, where 
Terah died. Then Abraham, inheriting the chief- 
tainship of the tribe, and so the governance of the 
family, takes up and carries onward to a successful 
completion the unfulfilled purpose of his father. 
With Sarah, his wife, and Lot, his nephew, together 
with the slaves which they had gotten, and the sub- 
stance which they had gathered, he journeyed to 
the land of Canaan, entering it from the north, by 
way of Damascus. No intimation is anywhere 
given that it was in obedience to a divine call that 
Terah set out on the migration to Canaan. In his 
movement we see or hear of no higher impelling 
force than the natural migratory instinct of the an- 
cient Semitic chieftains. He may have thought the 
land freer, the ranges for his flocks wider and safer, 
the pasturage richer, and the water more plentiful, 
than in his native Mesopotamia. Not so with Abra- 
ham. The original purpose of his father doubtless 
had its effect upon his mind, but he heard also the 
voice of the heavenly Father, the solemn summons 
of Almighty God, saying, " Get thee out of thy 
country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fath- 
er's house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I 
will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless 
thee, and make thy name great ; and thou shalt be 
a blessing : and I will bless them that bless thee, 
and curse him that curseth thee : and in thee shall 
all families of the earth be blessed." We have for 
our study this evening, " The Call of Abraham," 

The Call of Abraham. 235 

constituting, as it does, a pivotal point of Old 
World history. 

1. Let us remark, in the beginning, its rich and 
vast historical significance. As we hastily glance 
at this Semitic chieftain yonder, there may not be 
much calculated to arouse our attention, or pro- 
foundly impress the historic imagination. Never- 
theless, he is one of the dozen or two really great 
and potent men in the whole history of the race. 
He is the father of the Jewish people. As we stand 
and watch this Eastern caravan journeying west- 
ward to Palestine, let us not forget that we are in 
the presence of the beginnings of Jezvish history ! 
There is always something solemn, to a reflecting 
mind, in the beginning of a single human life, how- 
ever humble and obscure that life may seem to our 
imperfect vision. How vastly is that solemnity 
deepened and augmented when we stand by the 
cradle of a mighty people ! 

How real, and simple, and natural is this national 
beginning. Contrast it with the grotesque and fab- 
ulous legends of gods and goddesses, enveloping 
the early records of other ancient peoples, as Egypt, 
Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Abra- 
ham is a man ; simply and truly a man ; pretending 
to nothing more ; one like his brethren in actual 
identity of nature; & friend of God, indeed, but not 
a god, and making no pretension to superhuman 

I have called him the father of the Jewish peo- 
ple ! And what a people ! What a history was 

2 $6 Christian Manliness. 

then beginning ! The modern Jew may justly boast 
of the most ancient and distinguished lineage of any 
man on the earth ! We are accustomed to think of 
the Papacy as an antique institution, and yet fourteen 
hundred years before the time of the great Gregory 
VII., Elijah the Tishbite, a prophet of Israel, was 
rebuking the apostate Ahab, and confronting the 
priesthood of Baal ! We speak of Herodotus as the 
Father of History, but five hundred years before he 
began to collect the materials of his famous work 
David had touched his lyre, that " lyre which the 
nations heard entranced,'' and by which the shep- 
herd boy of Bethlehem became the " unchallenged 
king of psalmody till time shall be no more." More 
than three hundred years before the first recorded 
Olympiad of the Greeks a Hebrew prophet was 
teaching the Jewish people the spiritual nature of 
sacrifice. "And Samuel said, Behold, to obey is 
better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of 
rams." The venerable name of Homer seems to 
carry us back to the beginnings of poetry and liter- 
ature, but the chivalric Moses had nobly identified 
himself and his fortunes with the slaves of Goshen 
four hundred years before the blind old bard of 
" Scio's rocky isle " had begun his immortal epic! 
The boasted names of Europe's proudest aristoc- 
racy seem but of yesterday when compared with 
the illustrious names of Hebrew history. 

2. The divine call and the peculiar training of 
Abraham, as recited in the Scriptures, should teach ?ts 
the glory and the beauty of mercy, charity y and tol- 

The Call of Abraham. 237 

eration. Abraham was at one and the same time 
a very imperfect but a very good man. He must 
be looked at largely, royally, generously, somewhat 
in the way in which God looks at men, or he will 
be sure to disappoint you. He was guilty of deceit, 
of culpable weakness, of mendacity, and of some- 
thing akin to cruelty. Tried by our standards he 
would, of course, utterly fail. But on the other 
hand consider his virtues, his excellences, his strong 
points, his many meritorious qualities. Remember 
his unvarying courtesy ; his kindness to Lot, the 
orphan nephew ; his large unselfishness and gener- 
osity in dealing with him ; his unsought, unpaid 
service to the King of Sodom ; his touching and ur- 
gent intercession for the city of Sodom ; his gracious 
hospitality; his wonderful faith in God ; his quick, 
full, unhesitating, uncalculating obedience to God ! 
When he was called to go to Canaan, he at 
once got ready and started. The very day on 
which he covenanted with God to keep his com- 
mandments, and walk in his ways, he circumcised 
his entire household, while in his offering of Isaac 
he most conspicuously exhibited a faith and obedi- 
ence that approached the sublime ! 

Such was the strange mixture of elements in the 
character of Abraham. God's great mercy and 
wondrous loving-kindness overlooked his petty 
faults, while the divine charity dwelt with delight 
upon his virtues, and so it was that he became the 
father of the faithful. Alas ! how differently we 
we often act in our judgments of men. We look 

238 Christian Manliness. 

long upon the weaknesses, the mistakes, the infirmi- 
ties, the sins — we sometimes magnify them — while 
we not infrequently almost entirely overlook the 
virtues. No man is entirely faulty. Every man is 
sound and good somewhere. Along some line, in 
some range of power, in some element of disposi- 
tion or character, every man has virtue, or the ca- 
pacity for it. Hunt these nobler qualities up, and 
fix your attention upon them, if you mean to be- 
come imitators of God. We must learn to take 
men as they are, in this world, especially if we really 
mean to help them, and we should always remem- 
ber that very imperfect men are sometimes very 
good men, even as David was a man after God's 
own heart. 

The many-sidedness of Abraham's character 
should emphasize anew for us the much-needed les- 
son of toleration. His strengths and weaknesses, 
his merits and his faults, should teach us that in the 
sa7ne human character, and at the same time, good 
and evil may co-exist. His prayer for Sodom shows 
his compassion for wicked men. They were not 
even of his religion — they were idolaters. His serv- 
ice to the King of Sodom shows that he could 
help and rescue an alien, a heretic and an idolater, 
when in distress. There is nothing in him of the 
narrow and bitter spirit of intolerance shown by the 
Jews of a later time. Contrast his noble spirit in 
praying for Sodom with the desire of the disciples 
of Jesus to call down fire from heaven on the Sa- 
maritan villagers. There is nothing mean or petty 

The Call of Abraham. 239 

or dwarfing, nothing merely Jewish, about him. 
He seems to belong to the RACE. Such men as 
Abraham show us how divine and glorious a thing 
toleration really is, for without mutual forbearance 
and charity, I am sure, we will never be able to un- 
derstand God's work in this world at all. A beau- 
tiful legend of the Talmud may possibly explain to 
us how in some vision of the night Abraham first 
learned the lesson of toleration. When one even- 
ing Abraham sat at his tent door, according to his 
custom, waiting to entertain strangers, he espied an 
old man, who seemed to be a hundred years of 
age, stooping and leaning on his staff, weary with 
age and travel, coming toward him. He received 
him kindly, washed his feet, provided supper, and 
caused him to sit down ; but observing that the old 
man ate and prayed not, nor begged for a blessing 
on his meat, Abraham asked him why he did not 
worship the God of heaven. The old man told 
him that he worshiped the god of fire only, and 
acknowledged no other God ; at which answer, 
Abraham grew so zealously angry that he thrust 
the old man out of his tent, and exposed him to all 
the evils of the night and an unguarded condition. 
When the old man was gone God called to Abra- 
ham, and asked him where the stranger was ; he 
replied, " I thrust him away because he did not 
worship thee." God answered : " I have suffered 
him to live before me these hundred years, though 
he dishonored me ; and thou couldst not endure 
him for a single night when he gave thee no 

240 Christian Manliness. 

trouble." Upon this Abraham fetched him back 
again, and gave him hospitable entertainment and 
wise instruction. 

The story is a fable, a legend, I know, but the 
lesson is always needed. If God be so patient and 
tolerant of flaws and imperfections in a human 
character, as we see here in Abraham's case, should 
not we? And if of moral faults, how much more 
of mere intellectual error ! These bad, mistaken, 
and wicked men and women all about us, God 
suffers them, and shall not we? My friends, it is 
better to pray even for Sodom than to curse it. 
There is only one thing God is unwilling to put 
into men's hands, and that is the infliction of 
retaliation. " Vengeance is MINE ; I will repay, 
saith the Lord." 

3. Consider the momentous import, from the 
stand-point of religious truth, of the call of Abraham. 
He was more than the father of the Jewish people, 
and the founder of the Jewish nation. He was the 
first clear, undoubted, divinely instructed witness to 
the unity, the spirituality, and the real governance 
of Jehovah. That is, he was the first witness to the 
actuality, the reality of a supernatural revelation. 
He was an organ for the expression of the divine 
will. He was inspired of God, fitted, taught, pre- 
pared by God, to be the medium of truth undis- 
coverable by man's unaided faculties. The simple 
idea of the divine unity, for example, is in the 
world. Men do believe in one Lord, not many 
gods. How did it get here ? Whence its origin ? 

The Call of Abraham. 241 

It is as a matter of fact distinctly traceable to the 
Jews as a people. Historically, we can trace it 
back step by step to this Jewish people. So, in 
like manner, we trace it back, generation by 
generation, family by family, until we find it in 
the family and person of Abraham. He unques- 
tionably held it, and that antecedently to all 
others. The polytheism or idolatry then prevailing 
among his contemporaries, in one country not only, 
but in all the world, is now universally conceded. 
Whence, then, did he derive this peculiar idea, this 
sacred truth? He entirely escaped the worship of 
the heavenly bodies, and the deification of eminent 
men, as priests and kings. Somehow or other, he, 
and he alone, is wholly free from every taint of idol- 
atry. Again I say, Abraham is in clear and un- 
doubted possession of this idea, and I press the 
solemn question, " Whence did he derive it ? " And 
I answer, God himself revealed it to him by his Spirit. 
The greatest living Oriental scholar, the chief of 
those who make comparative religion a study, Max 
Miiller, says, "And if we were asked how this one 
Abraham passed through the denial of all other 
gods to the knowledge of the one true God, we 
are content to answer that it was by a special divine 

O the blessed significance of it ! O glorious 
word ! God has spoken to us ! The silences have 
been broken, and the loving messages of God have 
come to us, bidding us look up, and live, and hope ! 
We know not the distance between the summer- 

242 Christian Manliness, 

land of God's heart and these wastes of sin, but it 
has been traversed by God's angels of mercy, and 
will be again. The words of the Eternal have 
been spoken to man. Abraham has heard these 
words, and is henceforth the Pilgrim of the Invisi- 
ble ! 

Law in the Spiritual Realm. 243 


If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love ; even 
as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. — 
John xv, 10. 

Man is the subject of law throughout his entire 
earthly existence. He never escapes its rule for a 
single instant. There is a cause, a reason, a law for 
his first and for his last breath. He is what he is 
from moment to moment by virtue of his obedience 
or disobedience to the conditions environing him. 
He is related to the physical globe, to the air, to the 
light, to the heat, to food, to work, to society, to 
play, to trade, to commerce, to government, to his 
fellow-men, and the laws of these various relations 
are necessary to his existence, growth, happiness, 
and power. In other words, we have our existence 
in a moral universe. The constitution under which 
we live is such that if one event occurs another event 
necessarily occurs. The constitution of affairs is such 
that consequent must have its antecedent, that every 
effect must have a cause, that what is is the child of 
the past and the parent of the future ; that all re- 
sults, whether they be gross and material, or fine, 
spiritual, and impalpable, are conditioned, and not 
whimsical, or arbitrary, or capricious. 

The solemn message of nature to man is: " Keep 
my commandments, and I will bless you, I will feed 

244 Christian Manliness. 

you, I will support and sustain you, I will elevate, 
strengthen, enrich, and honor you. Disobey my 
laws, and I will punish you, I will weaken you, I 
will give you pain, I will degrade you, I will make 
you poor, and at last I will destroy you." This is 
the impartial, unvarying message of nature to man 
every-where, in all ages and 'in all countries, in sav- 
agery and in civilization. 

All we have comes primarily from the earth. Out 
of the soil comes, first or last, that which supports 
human life, and that without which human life could 
not be maintained on this globe ; but here, as every- 
where, law reigns. We avail ourselves of the prod- 
ucts and wealth of the earth by ascertaining and 
obeying certain well-established laws. It is not a 
matter of indifference when a man plants corn or 
sows wheat ; there are times for doing those things, 
and our business is to ascertain these times, to con- 
form to these conditions ; and any attempt to go 
contrary to these immutable conditions of nature 
leaves us without corn and without wheat. The 
man who should attempt -to do in the month of De- 
cember that which nature has appointed to be done 
in the month of May, the man who should attempt 
to do in the month of May that which should be 
done in the month of October, would speedily find 
that law reigns in husbandry, and that it is only by 
finding out and conforming to the conditions of 
germination and growth on the physical globe that 
we can have our life on the earth. If we do not 
obey these conditions, instantly we suffer loss; and 

Lazv in the Spiritual Realm. 245 

if to-day the whole race should deliberately resolve 
to set aside these conditions, and every man pro- 
ceed to live after his own sweet will, the time would 
not be long before man would perish by starvation. 

So is it when we come to our bodies; there is a 
cause for our health or our ill health. There are 
laws governing the growth, the strength, the health, 
the longevity of all physical organisms on this 
globe. When the headache comes, if you have 
reached the period of intelligence and reflection, 
you at once begin to inquire as to the cause of the 
disturbance. You know that the pain did not come 
arbitrarily, or fortuitously, or vindictively, or capri- 
ciously ; you know that there must be some near or 
remote cause for it, either in what you ate or did 
not eat, in the loss of sleep, in extraordinary exer- 
tions, or in your inheritances — you are certain that 
somewhere or other there is a distinct cause or rea- 
son for the headache. There is a cause for the 
fever; there is a cause for the cough; there is a 
cause for the pestilence ; there are conditions, laws, 
surrounding our physical being, and it is at our 
grave peril that we seek to evade or escape from 
them. Obedience to them is the price we pay for 
health, strength, and long life. 

The reign of law obtains in all the commercial 
and industrial pursuits and activities of human life. 

11 Well, young man," says the gray-haired head of 
the house to the new employee, " do you know the 
laws of success in this business? " " Not very well, 
sir." " In the first place, you must be industrious, 

246 Christian Manliness. 

you must be thrifty, you must be economical, you 
must be clear-headed and sagacious, you must be 
diligent, you must be honest, you must be patient." 
In other words, the laws of industry, of patience, of 
skill, of sagacity, of economy, constitute the condi- 
tions of commercial and industrial success. If any 
young man, swollen with vanity, imagines that law 
does not rule here, let him try it : let him be lazy, let 
him be improvident and wasteful, let him be care- 
less of his word, let it be a matter of indifference 
with him whether he shall arrive at his office at ten 
o'clock in the morning or two o'clock in the after- 
noon, and he will soon find that, although these 
laws are not printed in any statute-book, neverthe- 
less they determine the question of success in all 
the industrial and commercial relations of life. 

Law conditions the awakening and unfolding of 
the intellectual powers and the acquisition of knowl- 
edge. Grote's History of Greece, twelve good- 
sized volumes, may be enough to discourage the 
beginner, but he who would have a broad and thor- 
ough knowledge of Greek history must read it, and 
master its contents. You cannot dream yourself 
into a knowledge of it, you cannot wish yourself 
into a knowledge of it ; there is only one way to be 
familiar with the glorious age of Pericles, and that; 
is thoroughly to read about it, and meditate about 
it, and reflect about it, and thus get yourself steeped, 
in the very spirit of the time. Suppose the young 
collegian or student has a rich social nature, he can- 
not give full vent to this nature and become an 

Law in the Spiritual Realm. 247 

exact and broad scholar : he must say to his strong 
social desires, " You must serve and wait." Law 
governs the acquisition of all knowledge, as well as 
the sharpening and drilling into fineness and power 
of our faculties. There is no easy, royal, luxurious 
road to learning ; there is no royal road to wealth ; 
there is no royal road to health ; all these ways 
have been thoroughly explored for centuries, and 
they who attempt to acquire knowledge, or to amass 
wealth, or to build up strong bodies by violating 
these laws are sure to come to grief and ruin. The 
man has never lived who has been able, in the pres- 
ence of these inexorable facts, to set up an ideal 
universe of his own. Law rules from the time we 
begin to breathe until all is over ; and then law 
takes our bodies and decomposes them, and re- 
stores the elements that entered into them to their 
original form, that they may in turn enter into 
other bodies. We were born, we work, we love, we 
suffer, we triumph, we fail, we die, under the reign 
of impartial, immutable, beneficent law. 

And now, when we come to the life and activities 
of the spirit, does God reverse his method? When 
we come to the realm of the religious life, with its 
rich experiences and glorious products, has God 
given us a lawless, chance, haphazard realm ? When 
we come to that sphere in which we ascertain man's 
relations and duties to those things that are invisi- 
ble, is law banished? Do we say that caprice, im- 
pulse, and fancy rule here? Is such teaching in 
accordance with the ascertained analogies of the 

248 Christian Manliness, 

development of human nature, and the mainte- 
nance of human life in other realms of activity ? Man 
is not only the subject of physical conditions; he is 
not only related to the state, and to trade, and to 
the intellectual life; he is related also (and far more 
deeply than he imagines) to the spiritual realm ; he 
is related to the great truth of an Invisible Father, 
whose child he is, and whose nature he bears, and 
upon his spirit is the ineffaceable divine impress. 
He is tied to great and solemn duties, from which 
he may not escape, and which it is his glory to ac- 
knowledge and to perform ; duties that suggest and 
involve eternity. He sustains relations to the great 
idea of the survival of his life hereafter and forever, 
and so of a more intimate and perfect knowledge of 
the Father of his spirit. Can it be possible that we 
are in the vise-like grip of law until we touch that 
realm, and that then fancy, arbitrariness, luck, acci- 
dent, are to take the place of law ? And yet I fear 
that many religious people indulge themselves in 
the luxurious delusion that the religious realm is 
lawless ; without order, without fixed conditions, 
without distinct and stringent requirements of 
obedience. Hear the text again : " If ye keep my 
commandments, ye shall abide in my love." 
Where is it taught otherwise in the Bible? 
This passage does not say, " If ye keep my 
commandments, I will begin to love you." It is 
not taught here that the love of Jesus Christ to men 
as the expression, the manifestation, the bodying 
forth of the eternal love of God, is contingent upon 

Law in the Spiritual Realm. 249 

our obedience to him, but it is taught that if we 
are to realize that love, if we are consciously to en- 
ter into it, if we are to abide in it, we must keep 
his commandments. The statement is not, " Obey, 
that you may create this divine love," but, " Obey, 
that you may know it, and abide in it," and the dif- 
ference is vast and significant. " If ye keep my 
commandments, ye shall abide in my love ; even 
as I have kept my Father's commandments, and 
abide in his love." 

Now, what are some of the plain, simple com- 
mandments of Jesus? You know he did not give 
us just so many precepts after the letter, he did 
not give us ceremonial ritual commandments after 
the example of Moses to the Jews, but, neverthe- 
less, he gave us commandments. I may not ex- 
haust them in the brief time at my disposal, but I 
can indicate and emphasize some of them. 

It will not be disputed that this is one of his 
commandments: repent! Repent instantly, re- 
pent thoroughly, repent strenuously — all men will 
agree that this was, and is, one of his command- 
ments. He began to preach by saying : " Repent ; 
change your lives ; fall out with evil ; turn away 
from the evil that you find in yourself; do not 
waste your life in meditating about it, but turn 
away from wrong-doing at once, for the kingdom 
of heaven is at hand, it is here now, it is open to all 
who will enter it ; put down the evil that is within 
you, flee at once from the evil that solicits you ; 
remodel your dispositions ; set your faces toward 

250 Christian Manliness. 

that which is good." How can a man expect to 
discern and enter into Christ's love who has never 
repented ? How can a man expect to abide in 
Christ's love, as the dearest possession of his soul, 
who has never been willing to conform to this 
commandment of repentance? This love which is 
so freely proffered to us, and is disclosed as divine 
and eternal, how can the unrepentant man avail 
himself of it ? If he will not repent, or if he re- 
pents only of those sins that are easy to repent of, 
if he will repent of those sins which are superficial 
and external only, and not of those sins which are 
internal and spiritual : if he will not repent of the 
malign spirit of envy that eats out the heart of 
love and holiness, if he will not repent of the self- 
ishness that is mastering him, if he will not cast 
out the whole infernal brood of inner devils that 
are surely demonizing him — if he will not repent of 
all these things how can he expect to abide in that 
Love which has for the first and fundamental con- 
dition of its realization the earnestness and entire- 
ness of our repentance? 

Prayer is a command of Jesus. Not that we 
shall formally repeat so many prayers a definite 
number of times each day, not that our prayers 
shall be of a certain length, not that we shall in- 
clude such and such topics, not that we shall pray 
at such and such holy places, in a given attitude, 
but this general truth is his commandment con- 
cerning prayer : that man needs to carry his spirit 
up to God, that it may be cleansed and refreshed, 

Law in the Spiritual Realm. 251 

and receive the divine light. This also does he 
teach and command us concerning prayer : that we 
are to be diligent, intelligent, and persistent in it ; 
that we ought not to faint or be discouraged in 
cultivating the spirit and habit of prayer ; that if 
the unjust judge, by reason of unceasing impor- 
tunity, would do right, how much more may we 
expect the Just Judge to do right when his chil- 
dren cry day and night unto him ? How, then, 
can a man expect to abide in the love of Jesus, to 
enter into the enjoyment and strength of that love, 
who does not pray? How can a man expect to 
abide in it who says prayers? I am not now re- 
ferring to those persons of other religious denom- 
inations who use fixed forms of prayer. I speak 
of the religious man who is in such a hurry in the 
morning that he has no time for private prayer, un- 
less it be to mumble a few unfelt, superstitious 
words, and omits the family worship after break- 
fast ! I speak of the man who at night gives hours 
to recreation and amusement, and grudges minutes 
for God ! Call that prayer ! Call that taking the 
soul out of its life of sordid care, and out of all that 
which defiles and degrades, and lifting it up into 
rapt and holy and blessed communion with God ! 
How can a man expect to know the love of God in 
Christ, if he will not daily strive to live in the at- 
mosphere of prayer ? 

Another commandment of Christ may be com- 
prehended in the general expression, strenuousness 

of spiritual endeavor. A Christian life may be 

252 Christian Manliness. 

made easy, luxurious, and self-indulgent, in view 
of the prevailing idea of superficial expansion and 
culture, but when I turn to the New Testament, 
and open my whole heart and mind to the real 
meaning and spirit of the Book, I am more and 
more impressed with one thing: that Jesus Christ 
commands us strenuously to endeavor toward the 
spiritual life. What does he say? "STRIVE to 
enter in at the strait gate ; for many, I say unto 
you, will seek to enter in and shall not be able." 
We may imagine that it is a delightful holiday task 
to live a Christian life amid the abounding wealth 
and luxury of a great city; but it is not a holiday task 
to live a Christian life here or anywhere if the New 
Testament be our book of directions. If we would 
indeed live that life, it will require of us the most ur- 
gent, the most through, the most persistent, the most 
strenuous endeavors of which we are capable. How 
shall we know the love of God if we are strang- 
ers to this intense, fervid, spiritual earnestness? 

Consider the great commandment of Jesus : the 
commandment to cultivate the disposition of love 
toward all men. I reserved it for the last, because 
it is the commanding commandment of Jesus. I 
know how we evade it ; I know how we seek to 
escape from it ; I know how disagreeable it is to 
the carnal and worldly spirit. But if Jesus did not 
command men to love men ; if he did not command 
men so to love each other that they would not hate, 
or wrong, or defile, or degrade each other ; if he 
did not teach me to love all men, without regard to 

Laiv in the Spiritual Realm. 253 

their culture, or their color, or their wealth, or their 
poverty, or their virtue, or their weakness ; if Jesus 
Christ does not teach me that I am to love all men 
as men, if he does not teach me that I am to put up 
with disagreeable people, if he does not teach me 
to bear with mean people, if he does not teach 
me that my whole heart's love is to go out to men 
in proportion to the sharpness and greatness of 
their need, if he does not teach me that my life is 
to be lived in this atmosphere of love for men — if 
he does not command and teach me these things, 
he has not commanded or taught me any thing. 
How, then, can a man expect to rise up to the 
knowledge of this divine love who does not love 
men, and is not trying to love men ? 

These are some of the conditions upon which we 
are to know and abide in the divine love. There 
is no room, then, in the Christian life for fanati- 
cism ; there is no place left in the Christian life for 
that kind of false enthusiasm which expects the end 
without the means. Not a few people are just 
religious enough to be unhappy and miserable all the 
time. They are like a bright boy I knew at college, 
the son of a wealthy and prominent man, while 
nearly all the other students were of the homespun 
sort, and came from plain and humble homes. He 
was naturally as well endowed as any of the students, 
perhaps better endowed, but the truth was that he 
did not want to study; he wanted to be at the head 
of his class without work; he wanted, without toil 
and self-denial, to pass the great rude boy that came 

254 Christian Manliness. 

from the country — a boy who made his first appear- 
ance at college with no collar on, and with the 
roughest pair of boots and the shortest pair of 
trousers ever worn by a prospective freshman. When 
he saw that boy going to the head of the class he 
was irritated and exasperated ; he had just enough 
desire to be a scholar to keep himself in a state of 
misery all the time, and all because he would not 
obey the laws of college mastery and leadership. 
How many people there are who are religious in 
that way ! They are complaining and murmuring 
all the time, and yet they will not keep the laws of 
the Christian life. It is just as it is elsewhere — in 
the practice of the law, in business life, in teaching 
school, every-where : hanging on to every pursuit 
and vocation in life is a great crowd of murmurers, 
whiners, complainers, fault-finders. There are men 
who sit in their offices (where, by the way, nobody 
ever comes to see them), who can tell you exactly 
how that man across the street made his millions, 
but they never tell }'ou why they did not make 
millions. They rail at the world because they have 
not succeeded, when the reason of it is that they 
have been idle, or dishonest, or self-indulgent, and 
have not brought to bear upon their work in life 
sufficient energy and discretion. So there are people 
in the church who are leading miserable religious 
lives: they never have any joy; they never have 
any discernible spiritual power; it is all a question 
of disagreeable duty with them ; they perform cer- 
tain religious duties because the set time has come 

Laiv in the Spiritual Realm. 255 

for their observance, and because they think in a 
vague way that if they do not do these things some 
great, undefined, awful calamity will happen to them. 
They want to secure the peace and power of the love 
of Christ without keeping his commandments; they 
want life, and comfort, and faith, but they are not 
willing to obey the commandments. Repent! " I will 
repent of every thing but that one thing, and I wont 
repent of that now." Pray? " Well, I am a busy 
man, and I have not time for family prayers; I am 
willing to say my prayers morning and evening." 
" Strenuousness of spiritual endeavor ? " They know 
nothing at all about strenuousness of spiritual en- 
deavor. " Cultivating a disposition of love toward all 
men?" Why, they despise and sneer at the majority 
of men ! Now, how can one, so living, expect to 
know the love of Christ? " If ye keep my com- 
mandments, ye shall abide in my love ; even as I 
have kept my Father's commandments, and abide 
in his love." 

Our obedience does not create, but it brings us 
into the conditions in which, and in which alone, 
we can clearly discern and joyfully appropriate the 
divine love. I once lived in a State where there 
were a great many lazy and ignorant farmers, culpa- 
bly ignorant of the properties of the soil, and of 
what kind of crops could most successfully be raised 
by them. Suppose a farmer in this region who 
spent most of his time hunting and trying to get 
food for twelve or thirteen lean, lank, hungry dogs 
which he kept, and who was always complaining 

256 Christian Manliness. 

that the soil was so poor that he could scarcely get 
a living out of it. Suppose such a man as this 
should wake up some morning and find out that 
what he needed to do was to obey the conditions 
of success — namely, to plow his fields; even, if the 
soil was a little poor, to plow deep, and not merely 
scratch the surface of the ground ; that he was to 
take out the briars and weeds by the roots, to have 
secure fences, so as to keep the cattle and hogs out, 
to sow good seed and diligently cultivate it, and 
that by so doing he should avail himself of the air 
and light and heat and rain, and all the producing 
properties of the soil. Imagine such a man, after 
he had raised two or three generous crops, compla- 
cently saying to himself: "I created the sun; I 
created the light ; I caused the rain to fall ; I 
created the constituent elements in the soil that 
gave me my wheat." That is what some people 
would have us say about the love of our Father in 
heaven ; they want us to say that when we get to 
doing good we create in him for the first time a 
disposition to love us. In other words, that when 
we begin to do good God -begins to love us, and 
that if the case were otherwise God would not love 
us at all. No, no, my brethren. The divine love 
for men existed long before we were born ; it has ex- 
isted from the beginning— if any body knows when 
that was. By obedience (and it is his love even 
that inclines us to obedience) we bring ourselves 
into conditions where that love becomes present, 
actual, realizable. I notice that when my boy dis- 

Law in the Spiritual Realm. 257 

obeys me, he seems to have serious doubts as to 
the reality of my love for him. If I attempt, in a 
practical way, to convince him that I love him, he 
does not hesitate openly to deny the fact of my 
love. Do we not all know that a child, during the 
period of its defiant willfulness, will accept no out- 
ward evidences of parental love ? And do we not 
all know that obedience to Christ's commandments 
is an indispensable condition of making his love 
real and present to our hearts? 

When Thomas Carlyle determined to write the 
Life of Frederick the Great he put himself in train- 
ing to realize, as far as possible, all the conditions 
of the life of Prussia at that time. He prepared 
his room with reference to it ; the desk on which 
he wrote was from Germany ; his inkstand was 
from Germany; his ink was from Germany; his 
pen was from Germany ; the paper on which he 
wrote was from Germany ; the pictures on the 
walls were German pictures ; ail the books in that 
room were German books, and related to that 
time ; so that when he went into the room at any 
time to compose he was in the presence of such 
circumstances as served perpetually to suggest Ger- 
many to his mind, and he almost lived in that room 
during the years in which he produced that great 

This age is spiritually decrepit ; halting, languid, 
feeble. It is a time, indeed, in which there is much 
to praise, a time of discovery of great truths, of vast 
external works of benevolence, but it is not an age 

258 Christian Manliness. 

of profound spiritual life. It is an age of feet, not 
wings. It is not an age when the great invisible 
realities are strongly grasped and realized by men ; 
it is an age in which we hope that life may have a 
spiritual meaning ; it is an age in which we hope 
there may be a personal, willing, loving God ; it is 
an age in which we hope there may be life to come ; 
but it is not an age in which these great supersen- 
suous truths are steadily realized and made poten- 
tial in the lives of men. And no wonder; no won- 
der ! We have not obeyed the conditions by which 
we realize spiritual truth. When the men of this 
age will repent ; when they will repent instantly and 
thoroughly ; when the men of this time will PRAY, 
not say prayers ; when the men of this time engage 
themselves to strenuousness of spiritual endeavor ; 
when the men of this time will learn to love all their 
brother-men, not by machinery, not by charity so- 
cieties, not by subscribing to the support of the 
Gospel, but by downright kindness and helpfulness — 
when we thus fulfill the conditions of spiritual pen- 
etration and vigor, there will come to the men of 
this time an experience of the power and the bless- 
edness of the great invisible realities ! O how poor 
and empty are our lives ! You may amass your 
wealth, you may acquire your knowledge, you may 
establish your fame, you may have the love of wife 
and child, but who does not know that there come 
passages, histories, experiences, griefs in life, when 
not wealth, nor knowledge, nor ambition, nor the 
love of wife, or child, or friend, will satisfy the deso- 

Law in the Spiritual Realm. 259 

late soul ? Who does not know that there come 
times when, above all things else, we yearn to know 
that there is a Mighty One to love us? Who does 
not know that there are times when what we need 
to know is, not whether we love God, but whether 
God loves us? And how can we know it if we will 
not heed his commandments? This is the fatal 
heresy : to deny the reign of law in things spiritual. 
May we be preserved from this heresy ! May God 
mercifully incline our wayward hearts to keep his 
commandments, to the end that we may know and 
eternally abide in his righteous, sovereign Love ! 

260 Christian Manliness. 



If a man die, shall he live again ? — Job xiv, 14. 

This is an ancient, universal, and solemn ques- 
tion. It is an ancient question, I say; for we may 
well suppose that the first man who ever stood upon 
the earth, when he found himself in the dread pres- 
ence of death, asked this question. It is a universal 
question ; for we may well suppose that every man 
who since that time has entered, or has seen his 
friends entering, the valley of the shadow of death, 
has asked the same question. It is a solemn ques- 
tion ; for we cannot suppose that any normally con- 
stituted man, any sound, honest, healthy moral 
nature, could ask or seek to answer this question in 
a spirit of mere intellectual levity. It is, further, 
more a question of immense and inconceivable prac- 
tical importance. If this question is answered in 
the affirmative, if it be declared by some competent 
and reliable authority that man shall live again 
after death, a new light and radiance and inspiration 
is shed over the pathway and experiences of human 
life, while the opening vistas of the untrodden fut- 
ure are invested with a sweet attractiveness and a 
divine glory. If this question be answered in the 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 261 

negative, if it be declared by some competent and 
reliable authority that death ends all, what is this life 
of ours but one continued round of anguish and sor- 
row, of unsatisfied yearnings and bitter disappoint- 
ments ? If, to use the language of Professor Tyndall 
in his famous Belfast address, "you and I are des- 
tined, like streaks of the morning cloud, to melt into 
the infinite azure of the past," life is a golden and 
glorious promise never to be fulfilled. If man is not 
immortal, nature " has imposed upon her sons, and 
made them a lie." We have been created to be 
baffled, to be thwarted, to be mocked, to be toyed 
with, by the great blind, pitiless forces of nature, 
and then to be dissolved into nothingness forever. 
Christianity teaches that man shall live again after 
death. It sings no funereal hymns, it wails no re- 
quiems, it chants no dirges. Distinctly and elo- 
quently and solemnly does it proclaim the truth of 
our great immortality. It adopts and makes its 
own the sentiment of the poet : 

" The sun is but a spark of fire, 
A transient meteor in the sky; 
The soul, immortal as its sire, 
Shall never die." 

We are to consider the reasonableness of the 
Christian doctrine of a conscious future life for the 
human spirit. It is not my purpose to attempt 
to prove, by any methods of formal logic, that 
the soul shall survive death. The evidences of the 
reality and permanence of our spiritual being are 

262 Christian Manliness. 

neither logical nor physical, but moral and personal. 
The reality of a future life does not depend upon 
the mere strength of an argument. As Christians, 
we believe in immortality because Jesus Christ, who 
came out from God, bringing with him the disclos- 
ure of the eternal will of God, hath abolished death 
and brought life and immortality to light. Upon 
this Rock we build our hopes. The question pro- 
posed now is, Is this doctrine of Christianity credi- 
ble and reasonable ? Are they not irrational who 
question and deny this great truth ? We teach that 
this doctrine is confirmed by the highest reason, 
that it is in harmony with a spiritual interpre- 
tation of nature, and that it is in sympathy with 
the indisputable facts of man's manifold being. 

There is one preliminary consideration worthy of 
serious attention as we enter upon our study of this 
subject, and that is the impossibility of establishing 
the negative proposition. No man now living, and 
no man who ever will live, can show that there is 
no future life for the soul. It is both physically and 
intellectually impossible. 

I. Before it can be declared with any degree of 
confidence, or, rather, before it can be declared 
without the most arrogant intellectual presump- 
tion, that the immortal life of the soul is a dream 
and a fancy, the entire universe of God must be 
exhaustively explored. No man can declare that 
disembodied spirits do not exist until he has pene- 
trated into every nook and corner of the universe 
and found no such spirits. He must be able to show 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 263 

that no such forms of life have an existence, and he 
must be able to show it in an entirely satisfactory 
manner. His exploration of the universe must not 
be partial, it must be exhaustive. He must be able 
to scale its inaccessible heights, to sound its un- 
fathomable depths, to measure all its infinite spaces, 
before he can be even a competent witness. He 
must have visited and have scrutinized every por- 
tion of the creation of Almighty God. Not our 
earth, and sun, and system only, not the planetary 
spaces only, not the fixed stars only, not the stellar 
spaces only, not the Milky Way only, but all suns, 
all stars, all nebulae, all space. It will not do for 
this explorer to return after having visited ninety- 
nine parts of the universe, and declare that no dis- 
embodied souls can be found, for they may have 
their dwelling-place in the one part unvisited and 
unexplored. Nothing short of an exhaustive ex- 
ploration of the universe would justify the denial 
of the existence of glorified human spirits. But 
such an exploration is physically impossible. The 
universe, like its majestic and inscrutable Author, is 
infinite and unsearchable. No man now living, no 
man who ever will live, can explore and exhaust the 
infinite creation of the infinite God. 

2. But suppose such an exploration could actu- 
ally be made. The declaration of the explorer that 
he found no translated and disenthralled souls of 
men would not justify the conclusion that no such 
souls existed. It is possible, yea, it is highly proba- 
ble, that he would not be possessed of powers and 

264 Christian Manliness. 

faculties sufficiently fine and discriminating to en- 
able him to perceive, discern, or touch a spirit. 
Philosophers generally concede that matter pos- 
sesses, or may possess, many qualities of which we 
are at present ignorant, on account of the grossness 
and heaviness of our faculties. If we had finer, 
sharper, more penetrating powers, we might be able 
greatly to extend our list of the qualities and prop- 
erties of matter. As, by practice, we whet and 
sharpen our faculties, as we improve the instruments 
we employ in the study of matter, new and aston- 
ishing discoveries are made of its qualities and pow- 
ers. Now, if our faculties are too gross and heavy 
to perceive all the qualities of matter, is it at all 
probable that they are sufficiently fine and power- 
ful to discern disembodied spirits? We know noth- 
ing of the forms, modes, activities of spirit life. We 
can form no tangible or sensible conception of a 
pure spirit. We know very little of mind or spirit, 
even when localized in matter. We know nothing 
at all about it when, separated from matter, it is free 
and untrammeled. Spirits may be near us, or they 
may be afar off. We know nothing of their mode of 
life or locomotion. The spirit life may be as near to 
our life as the waves of the ocean to the shore, or it 
may be removed from us at an immeasurable and 
inconceivable distance. Spirits elude the grasp of 
all our faculties. They are too unworldly, too sub- 
tle, too ethereal, to readily surrender themselves to 
our examination. Now our explorer might have 
visited the outermost confines of creation, he might 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 265 

have carefully scrutinized all the intervening spaces, 
but how convincing would be his testimony ? The 
question would immediately arise, Did he possess 
the faculties requisite for the discernment of a 
spirit? He may have traveled through densely 
peopled regions of spirits, and missed them all be- 
cause of coarseness of faculty. If his powers had 
been finer and sharper, he might, perhaps, have dis- 
covered spirits. His testimony would, therefore, 
be valueless ; at least, it could not be decisive of a 
question of such profound importance. 

Whoever would successfully deny the existence 
of a future state must possess perfect faculties, and 
the power to visit and examine the entire material 
universe. Now, no man possesses either ; no man 
ever will possess either. Therefore, it is impossible 
for any man ever to prove that there is no future 

The negative being impossible to establish, let 
us inquire into the reasonableness of the affirm- 

I. A strong presumption in favor of immortality 
is raised by the significance of the universal longing 
after it. The fact that all men have longed for a 
future life is not denied. Their conceptions of the 
hereafter may often have been crude, coarse, bar- 
baric, materialistic. Very few of the elements of 
immortality as we conceive of it may have entered 
into the minds of savage men. Nevertheless, the 
savage has longed for a new life in the dim here- 
after. This longing has been universal. The great 

266 Christian Manliness. 

and the humble, the cultured and the coarse, the 
gifted and the stolid, the rich and the poor, the 
strong and the weak, the scholar and the boor, the 
king and the slave, the poet and the hod-carrier, 
the Greek poet and the sensuous barbarian, the 
English philosopher and the negroes of equatorial 
Africa, have all alike looked up to the stars and 
longed for a home beyond them. To the reflective 
and thoughtful mind this fact is full of significance, 
suggestion, and prophecy. By this fact the race 
has all along been testifying to its sense of the nar- 
rowness, the incompleteness, and the defectiveness 
of the present life, and the eminent desirableness of 
another life where all things shall be rounded out to 
completeness, wholeness, and harmony. Has the 
race been mistaken? Is this life a perfect one? Is 
there nothing fragmentary about it? Do we not 
feel that it is incomplete ? With all its joy, and 
beauty, and work, and growth, and culture, and 
love, are we not perpetually dreaming of a life more 
joyous, with a finer, loftier, richer beauty, with 
frictionless work, with more rapid growth, with a 
more genial and perfect culture, with a higher and 
less selfish love ? Here, then, is a race, confessedly 
imperfect, longing with passionate fervor for perfec- 
tion, and, if death destroys our being, heartlessly 
denied this perfection by the very Being who him- 
self implanted the desire. For, if man is not to 
complete this life hereafter, why was he created 
capable of conceiving of a hereafter? Why should 
he be endowed with this fervor of perfection if it is 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 267 

never to be realized ? If death ends all, and justice 
is to be done, man should have been so constituted 
as not to be able to peer anxiously into the future 
in the vain hope that the bright, consummate 
flower of existence should then unfold in perfect 
beauty. God is not to be charged with the infinite 
cruelty of thus mocking, baffling, and cheating the 
whole human race. The very outreach of our souls 
after immortality is, under the rule of a moral 
Deity, a pledge and a prophecy that the coveted 
destiny shall be ours. 

2. The desire for immortality grows in fineness, 
purity, fervency, and power with the advancing in- 
telligence and increasing culture of the human race. 
This desire was not one of the world's childhood 
only. The world has had its childhood beliefs and 
desires. In its childhood the world believed that 
every stream had its naiad and every forest its 
dryad. It believed that the earth was a flat sur- 
face, that the sun was a comparatively insignificant 
body, and that it moved round the earth as its 
humble servant. It believed that the earth was 
made in six literal days of twenty-four hours each. 
All these beliefs, and many similar ones, the world 
has outgrown, or is rapidly outgrowing. It is true, 
also, that in the world's childhood men believed in 
immortality. The early man, wandering from 
pasture to pasture with his flock of sheep and goats, 
was also seeking a better country, that is, a heav- 
enly. Scarce ever did the homeless pilgrim, in the 

freshness of the early dawn, strike his tent, and 

268 Christian Manliness. 

prepare for another day's march, that he did not 
yearn for a permanent home ; that he did not long 
for the air of a bright eternal morning; that he did 
not dream of a city which had foundations, whose 
maker and builder was God ! But the world has 
not outgrown its early faith in, and passionate long- 
ing for, a life free from evil, pain, and strife. Now 
in its manhood, strong, vigorous, aggressive, its 
faith in a compensating future is more vitalizing and 
tenacious than ever. Nor is it true that this desire 
has been confined to ignorant, timid, slavish, 
and superstitious peoples. The lowly, the crude, 
the undeveloped, the uncivilized, have, indeed, de- 
sired this precious boon. They have hoped that 
heaven would right the wrongs of earth, and they 
have waited with patience and hope for the right- 
eous and solemn retributions of eternity. The un- 
tutored savage of the tropical forests, the serpent 
worshiper of Bengal, the wild red man, who once 
proudly claimed this continent as his own, all have 
sought with avidity the rounding out of their being 
in a more congenial clime. So have the choicest 
spirits of the race. Abraham, Moses, Job, Isaiah, 
Paul, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, 
^schylus, Seneca, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Epic- 
tetus, Dante, Da Vinci, Goethe, Schiller, Jean Paul, 
Lessing, Kant, Shakespeare, Milton, Haydn, Han- 
del, Mozart, Beethoven, Addison, Johnson, Cow- 
per, Burke, Macaulay, Froude, Tennyson, and 
Buckle, all have desired immortality. As life grows 
in complexity, as men more and more come to 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 269 

themselves, as our wants increase, as our channels 
of pleasure and sources of culture multiply, as all 
our faculties become finer, sharper, more distinct, 
and more fruitful — in short, as man advances toward 
the ripeness and consummation of his being — the 
desire for a freer, fuller, ampler life grows in fervency 
and power. The more a man becomes a man, the 
greater is his dread of extinction. The growth of 
the race, the increase and enlargement of its knowl- 
edge, is, and ever has been, accompanied by an in- 
crease of desire for immortality. And what is true 
of the race is true also of the individual. To deny 
immortality is evidence of immaturity, of super- 
ficiality, of lack of depth and patience of thought. 
Intellectual growth is almost invariably marked by 
a rejection of materialism, and the gradual accept- 
ance of the great truth that spirit forces are supreme 
in the universe. Bryant at nineteen did not sing 
of immortality as he did at eighty-two. Here is 
the doubting, hesitating, almost pagan poetry of 
his youth : 

" So live, that when thy summons comes to join 
The innumerable caravan which moves 
To that mysterious realm where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 

Here is the high and solemn hope that animated 
his verse at eighty-two : 

270 Christian Manliness. 

"What is there beyond ? 
Hear what the wise and good have said. Beyond 
That belt of darkness still the years roll on, 
More gently, but with not less mighty sweep. 
They gather up again and softly bear 
All the sweet lives that late were overwhelmed 
And lost to sight, all that in them was good, 
Noble, and truly great, and worthy love, 
The lives of infants and ingenious youths, 
Sages and saintly women who have made 
Their households happy ; all are raised and borne 
By that great current in its onward sweep, 
Wandering and rippling with caressing waves 
Around green islands fragrant with the breath 
Of flowers that never wither. So they pass 
From stage to stage along the shining course 
Of that bright river, broadening like a sea. 
As its smooth eddies curl along their way 
They bring old friends together ; hands are clasped 
In joy unspeakable ; the mother's arms 
Again are folded round the child she loved 
And lost. Old sorrows are forgotten now. 
Or but remembered to make sweet the hour 
That overpays them ; wounded hearts that bled 
Or broke are healed forever. In the room 
Of this grief-shadowed present, there shall be 
A present in whose reign no grief shall gnaw 
The heart, and never shall a tender tie 
Be broken ; in whose reign the Eternal Change 
Thatwairs on growth and action shall proceed 
With everlasting Concord hand in hand." 

Victor Hugo, after threescore and ten years of 
life, in the ripeness and maturity of his splendid 
genius, thus proclaims the moral necessity of im- 
mortality : 

" What is it which alleviates and which sanctifies 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 271 

toil, which renders men strong, wise, patient, just, 
at once humble and aspiring, but the perpetual 
vision of a better world, whose light shines 
through the darkness of the present life ? For 
myself, I believe profoundly in that better world ; 
and, after many struggles, much study, and num- 
berless trials, this is the supreme conviction of 
my reason, as it is the supreme consolation of my 

Hear him speak again at a time when he was 
rejoicing in the fullness of all his powers: 

" I feel in myself the future life. I am like a forest 
once cut down. The new shoots are stronger and 
livelier than ever. I am rising, I know, toward the 
sky. The sunshine is on my head. The earth gives 
me its generous sap, but heaven lights me with the 
reflection of unknown worlds. You say the soul is 
nothing but the resultant of bodily powers. Why, 
then, is my soul more luminous when my bodily 
powers begin to fail ? Winter is on my head, but 
eternal spring is in my heart. There I breathe at 
this hour the fragrance of the lilacs, the violets, and 
the roses, as at twenty years. The nearer I ap- 
proach the end, the plainer I hear around me the 
immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite 
me. It is marvelous, yet simple. It is a fairy tale, 
and it is history. For half a century I have been 
writing my thoughts in prose and verse, history, 
philosophy, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode, 
and song — I have tried all. But I feel I have not 
said the thousandth part of what is in me. When 

272 Christian Manliness. 

I go down to the grave, I can say, like so many- 
others, ' I have finished my day's work,' but I can- 
not say, ' I have finished my life.' My day's work 
will begin again the next morning. The tomb is 
not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare. It closes 
on the twilight to open with the dawn." 

3. The Christian doctrine of a future life is most 
rational, most satisfying, most certain in the soul's 
purest, noblest, most unselfish, most unworldly 
hours ; while it is dim, shadowy, uncertain, unreal 
when we are disloyal, disobedient, selfish, worldly, 
and impure. There is a Garden of Eden in every 
man's life, and in that garden stands the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil. The tempter whis- 
pers to us that we shall not die if we eat the fruit, 
but that we shall become as gods ; strong, wise, and 
powerful. Every man listens to that voice, and at 
some time or other every man hearkens to it, but, 
instead of the promised increase of knowledge, 
disobedience is followed by blindness, confusion, 
and sorrow. To drop the figure, in this life we all 
have experiences of evil. We are disloyal to the 
highest right we know. We do not always obey 
the faithful and friendly monitions of conscience. 
We are at times grossly selfish. We become 
worldly, secular-minded, sacrificing principle to 
policy, right to expediency. Now, if you will take 
care to analyze your moral state after you have 
done wrong ; when you have been insincere, selfish, 
envious, grasping, merciless, prayerless ; when you 
have given the reins to the lower and baser nature ; 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 273 

when you have endeavored to stifle the voice of 
conscience — if, after passing through such experi- 
ences, you will question yourself as to the soul's 
immortality, that great and precious truth will seem 
to you shadowy, dim, uncertain. It is a statement 
that every man may verify in his own experience, 
that wrong-doing, evil dispositions and habits, 
weaken the force of the evidence for the future life 
of the soul. A man's moral state often deter- 
mines whether he is pervious or impervious to the 

We are the subjects of goodness, however, as 
well as of evil. We do not always obey the voice 
of the insidious tempter. We are capable of resist- 
ing, and we do often actually resist and conquer 
temptation. We have dared to do right sometimes 
in the face of tremendous odds. We have indig- 
nantly trampled beneath our feet the seductive bait 
of evil. We have compelled our lower nature to 
serve our higher nature. We have attently list- 
ened for the commands of conscience, and, hearing, 
we have instantly and gladly obeyed. We have 
been merciful when we were tempted to strike, and 
when our victim was in our power. We have been 
patient under the most severe provocation. We 
have deliberately yielded our cherished desires and 
plans, to serve and bless others when they were in- 
capable of fully appreciating the sacrifices we were 
making in their behalf. After all such experiences 
immortality seemed to be the natural destiny of 
the soul. We felt within us the beginnings of that 

274 Christian Manliness. 

eternal life of which Christ spoke. Clear, strong, 
certain, satisfying, seemed to be the evidences of 
the soul's supremacy over death. The bare sugges- 
tion of annihilation sent an icy shudder through 
the soul. We recoiled at the thought of it. We 
felt ourselves to be allied to God and the invisible 
world by an imperishable bond. Nothing could 
shake our faith in the soul's celestial and spiritual 
destiny. Goodness, purity, loyalty of soul, is the 
unfailing condition of apprehending the highest 
spiritual and religious truth. 

The question arises, in view of these facts, shall 
we take the verdict of our higher or of our lower 
natures? Shall we take counsel of that which is 
good or of that which is evil in us? Shall we learn 
from that which is best or from that which is worst 
in us? If we accept the verdict of our highest, 
finest, noblest faculties, we must accept, and we 
will accept, the Christian doctrine of a future life. 
They bring no uncertain, hesitating report on this 
subject. Distinctly and emphatically do they con- 
firm the teaching of revelation that there is for us 
an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that 
fadeth not away. It cannot be possible that our 
highest and best faculties were made on purpose to 
deceive us. Then pur whole nature is a lie, and 
God himself is found untrue. If the moral and 
spiritual powers in us were constructed to mislead 
and lie to us we are in a bewildering maze, and 
there is no solid ground upon which we may plant 
our feet. Truth is clean ggne forgyer, ancj we are 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 275 

in an endless labyrinth of error. Our moral and 
spiritual powers must, therefore, be reliable and 
trustworthy, and they, at their best estate, in ex- 
plicit and solemn language, declare that man is 
destined to rise to a glorious immortality. 

A man is out on the mountains in a black, 
stormy night. The rain pours in torrents. He 
cannot see six inches ahead of him. He is a 
stranger, and has never traveled the road before, 
A single false step and he may be dashed down a 
precipice of five hundred feet. But ever and anon 
there are broad, vivid sheets of lightning, and they 
reveal to him the direction of the narrow, winding 
mountain road. What if he should shut his eyes 
when the lightning flashes? He would surely lose 
his way and be dashed to pieces on the rocks be- 
low. In the dark and troublous and perplexing 
ways of this life, God, by the supremacy of our 
moral natures, gives us light and direction. Let 
us thankfully accept and loyally follow this light. 
It will lead us safely through all the devious paths 
of this mortal pilgrimage, and finally conduct us to 
the celestial city. 

276 Christian Manliness. 


If a man die, shall he live again ? — Job xiv, 14. 

We are considering the reasonableness of the 
Christian doctrine of a future life. The Christian 
does not rest his hope of survival ofter death upon 
the mere suggestions of nature and reason. These 
suggestions may serve to confirm that hope, but 
they do not in the first instance produce it. We 
believe in the future life of the soul, because Jesus 
Christ, who came out from God, bringing with him 
the secrets of eternity, revealed to us the great 
truth that the gift of God is eternal life. He abol- 
ished death, and brought life and immortality to 
light. Because he lives, we shall live also. 

It may, however, in an age of doubts and ques- 
tionings, become the duty of the Christian apologist 
to show that this doctrine is in nowise repugnant to 
reason, or contradictory of the facts of man's mani- 
fold being. My purpose, then, is not to attempt to 
prove that the soul is immortal, but to show that 
the Christian doctrine of immortality is reasonable, 
and not to be rejected as unworthy of belief on any 
a priori grounds. 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 277 

I. The belief in immortality is reasonable in the 
light of the nature and powers of man. Practical 
scientific men are accustomed to reproach Christian 
thinkers for lightly esteeming man's physical nat- 
ure, for failing to recognize and obey the laws of 
man's physical constitution. The one-sidedness of 
the Christian is in this respect fully matched by the 
one-sidedness of the practical scientist. He is dis- 
posed to spend all his time and exert all his ener- 
gies in the study of man's physical organism. If 
you read Dr. Carpenter on the brain you will feel 
for the hour that man is nothing but a retort, into 
which various chemical elements are mingled and 
by certain physical processes converted into cere- 
bral matter. This cerebral matter, in turn, by some 
occult and inexplicable process, manufactures 
thought, emotion, volition, orations, histories, 
essays, poetry, and scientific treatises. But surely 
there is something else of man besides muscles, 
and nerves, and bones, and tendons, and sinews, 
and ligaments, and veins, and arteries, and cerebral 
matter. Man does something else than eat, and 
drink, and digest, and assimilate, and walk, and 
breathe, and talk, and perform various physical 
processes. " There is a spirit in man, and the in- 
spiration of the Almighty giveth him understand- 
ing." He observes, he perceives, he reflects, he 
compares, he reasons, he generalizes, he invents, 
he creates, he conceives, he imagines, he remem- 
bers, he is the subject of a large number of purely 
intellectual processes.. Nor have you exhausted 

278 Christian Manliness. 

the catalogue of his powers when you have enu- 
merated and analyzed his intellectual faculties. He 
has emotions, desires, affections, yearnings, aspira- 
tions. He loves and he hates, he is sad and he is 
glad, mighty tides of emotion sometimes convulse, 
sometime clarify and uplift, his being ; he has a 
sense of the beautiful, of the grand, of the sublime; 
above all, he possesses the power to perceive moral 
qualities in actions and to feel the obligatoriness 
of duty. Physiology is a noble study, but it does 
not exhaust the knowledge of man. In the name 
of science, as well as of reason and religion, we 
must demand psychology as the complement of 
physiology. No philosophy of man can be con- 
structed which does not include all the facts and 
powers of his nature. 

Consider some of the more noble and spiritually 
prophetic attributes of man's nature. We speak of 
man as being capable of goodness, wisdom, justice, 
truth, love, and holiness. It is an indisputable fact 
that these qualities do actually belong to man. 
Man is capable of goodness, he is capable of justice, 
he is capable of truth, he is capable of love. He 
knows in some proper sense what justice is, and he 
can himself pursue such a course of conduct as to 
entitle him to be described as a just man, or a man 
of justice. He knows what holiness is, and he is 
capable of becoming, in a certain sense, holy, so 
that he may truthfully be described as a holy 
man. But these qualities, or attributes, are very 
high, significant, and noble ones. They are the 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 279 

qualities and attributes which we ascribe to the 
Supreme Being. We speak of God as good, as pure, 
as holy, as just, as true. Justice, holiness, recti- 
tude, love, purity — these are the moral attributes 
of God. It is true, they exist in him in infinite 
amplitude, scope, power, and richness, far transcend- 
ing all our present power of thought and conception. 
But justice in God can only be a glorified and in- 
finite form of the justice which we find in man. 
It differs in degree ; it cannot differ in kind. If jus- 
tice in the Divine Being is something other and 
different in kind, in quality, in essence, from justice 
in man, then man does not really know what jus- 
tice is, for it is only by the germ of justice in his 
own breast that he can interpret justice in God. 
There are not two kinds of justice — human justice 
and divine justice. Justice is a quality of moral 
conduct, and in its essential nature and disposition 
must be the same every-where. In one nature it 
may be feeble, imperfect, varying, in another 
strong, steady, constant, in still another infinite and 
unsearchable, but still it is justice. Justice in man, 
therefore, is, in germ form, the same justice that in 
glowing and glorious perfection resides in the heart 
of God. Love in man is a true type of love in God. 
With us love may be but as a drop of water, with 
God it is a mighty ocean; but it is love alike in his 
and the human heart. 

Man, then, is now actually possessed of GOD- 
LIKE powers, qualities, dispositions, and attributes. 
He does actually partake of the divine nature. 

280 Christian Manliness. 

He is allied to God by identity of moral capacity. 
His nature is high, noble, spiritual, prophetic of 
divinity. Now, if man with these powers be mor- 
tal and perishable, if with such capacities death 
shall utterly annihilate him, he is surely a waste of 
creative power ; he has been far too highly equipped 
for his miserable destiny. Why load the ship 
with such a precious cargo, if it be known before- 
hand that it must be wrecked, and every thing be 
lost ? Why endow man with the capacities and 
powers of a god, and then give him the destiny of 
the worm? In the language of the great Robert 
Hall, " man, considered apart from his immortality, 
is the vainest thing under the sun." The white 
elephants of India are said to attain the age of a 
hundred years. The average age of man is thirty- 
three years. If the elephant with his powers is 
given a life of a century, and the man with his pow- 
ers but the third of a century, creation is more than 
a mystery — it is a horrible imposture, a cruel lie. 
There are oak-trees in England twelve centuries 
old. They were there when Harold fell at Hast- 
ings, and William the Conqueror introduced the 
Normans. Through all the vicissitudes and glories 
of English history they have stood as silent remem- 
brancers of the past. Thirty-six generations of chil- 
dren have laughed and played beneath their wide- 
spreading boughs. In the meantime, what a gai- 
axy of illustrious names has arisen in the English 
firmament. What a noble host of geniuses has been 
reared on British soil. Chaucer, and Spenser, and 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 281 

Shakespeare, and Milton, and Locke, and New- 
ton, and Burke, and Chatham, and Macaulay ; 
Latimer, Ridley, Hampden, Barrow, Baxter, 
Jeremy Taylor, and Wesley — names that stir our 
sluggish blood and rouse us once more to high em- 
prise of thought and deed — these all have come 
and gone. The quick, cruel, and rapacious grave 
has swallowed them forever from human sight. If 
death ends all, if extinction was the sad destiny of 
these choice and gifted spirits, then English oaks 
have a grander sweep of being than English men. 
How anomalous and shocking and abortive the 
creation that lengthens out through twelve centu- 
ries the life of an insensate, unthinking tree, and, be- 
coming impatient of the splendid genius of the 
thinking Shakespeare, stamps out his life in fifty 
years ! It is to such monstrous suppositions that 
the denial of the soul's immortality reduces us. 
A being like man, capable of participating in the 
divine life, possessed of qualities directly allying 
him to the invisible and intelligent Creator — such a 
being, I affirm, is not to have the destiny of the 

Henry Thomas Buckle founded his belief in im- 
mortality on one single capacity of man's nature; 
namely, his power to love. Here is his statement 
of the argument: 

" Look now at the way in which this godlike and 
fundamental principle (the love principle) of our 
nature acts. As long as we are with those whom 
we love, and as long as the sense of security is un- 

282 Christian Manliness. 

impaired, we rejoice, and the remote consequences 
of our love are usually forgotten. Its fears and its 
risks are unheeded. But when the dark day ap- 
proaches, and the moment of sorrow is at hand, 
other and yet essential parts of our affection come 
into play. And if, perchance, the struggle has been 
long and arduous; if we have been tempted to 
cling to hope when hope should have been aban- 
doned, so much the more are we at the last changed 
and humbled. To note the slow but inevitable 
march of disease, to watch the enemy stealing in at 
the gate, to see the strength gradually waning, the 
limbs tottering more and more, the noble faculties 
dwindling by degrees, the eye paling and losing its 
luster, the tongue faltering as it vainly tries to utter 
its words of endearment, the very lips hardly able 
to smile with their wonted tenderness — to see this 
is hard indeed to bear, and many of the strongest 
natures have sunk under it. But when even this is 
gone, when the very signs of life are mute, when 
the last faint tie is severed, and there lies before us 
naught save the shell and husk of what we loved 
too well, then truly, if we believed the separation 
were final, how could we stand up and live ? We 
have staked all upon a single cast, and lost the 
stake. There, where we have garnered up our 
hearts, and where our treasure is, thieves break in 
and spoil. Methinks that in that moment of deso- 
lation the best of us would succumb but for the 
deep conviction that all is not really over, that we 
have as yet only seen a part, and that something 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 283 

remains behind; something behind — something 
which the eye of reason cannot discern, but on 
which the eye of affection is fixed. What is that 
which, passing over us like a shadow, strains the 
aching vision as we gaze at it ? Whence comes that 
sense of mysterious companionship in the midst of 
solitude, that ineffable feeling which cheers the 
afflicted? Why is it that, at these times, our 
minds are thrown back on themselves, and, being so 
thrown, have a forecast of another and a higher 
state? If this be a delusion it is one which th§ 
affections have themselves created, and we must be^ 
lieve that the purest and noblest elements of our 
nature conspire to deceive us. . . . It is, then, to 
that sense of immortality with which the affections 
inspire us, that I would appeal for the best proof 
of the reality of a future life." 

To the same effect is the following quotation from 
the brilliant and eloquent pen of the late George D. 
Prentice : " Men seldom think of the great event 
of death until the shadow falls across their own 
pathway, hiding from their eyes the face of loved 
ones whose loving smile was the sunlight of their 
existence. Death is the antagonist of life and the 
cool thought of the tomb is the skeleton of all fears. 
We do not want to go through the dark valley, al- 
though its dark passage may lead to the grave, even 
with princes for bed-fellows." The same truth, name- 
ly, that the human spirit is too rich in its treasures 
of love ever to be destroyed by death, finds beauti- 
ful expression in Talfourd's exquisite drama of Tim, 

284 Christian Manliness. 

The hope of immortality there so eloquently uttered 
by the death-devoted Greek finds deep responses 
in every thoughtful soul. When about to yield his 
young existence as a sacrifice to fate, his Clemantha 
asks him if they should ever meet again, to which 
he replies: "I have asked that dreadful question 
of the hills that looked eternal, of the clear streams 
that flow forever, of the stars among whose fields 
of azure my raised spirit has walked in glory. All 
were dumb. But when I gaze upon thy living face 
I feel that there is something in the love that man- 
tles its beauty that cannot wholly perish. We shall 
meet again, Clemantha." 

2. It is an easy and natural transition from these 
thoughts to the next line of suggestion and argu- 
ment — that is, that the infinite love of the Author 
of the universe renders reasonable a serene faith in 
immortality. Man has more than intellect ; he has 
heart. Richly equipped as he is in purely intellect- 
ual faculties, he is even more magnificently endowed 
in his affectional nature. His knowledge may be 
partial and fragmentary, his logic faulty, his general- 
izations hasty, his conclusions inaccurate and unre- 
liable, but his love is immense, significant, divine 
almost. The power and patience of human affec- 
tion, especially in woman, is indescribable. A hor- 
rible crime is committed in the community. The 
perpetrator of the foul deed is quickly arrested, 
tried, convicted, sentenced to execution. The com- 
munity applauds this swift execution of justice. 
The day of execution arrives, and in all the crowd 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 285 

surrounding the doomed man there is not a single 
relenting, pitying eye. But crouching yonder hi 
the shadow of the scaffold is a gray-haired woman. 
It is the criminal's mother. She loves him still, nor 
will she ever cease to love him. At her knee he knelt 
in childhood. She solaced his early sorrows. He 
was her hope and her joy. He may be a murderer, 
the whole community may have risen up against 
him in righteous indignation, he may have stepped 
from the scaffold into eternity, but his image is in- 
delibly impressed upon her heart, and her great love 
is sure to invent some extenuation of his awful 
crime. The literature of love is not written, save in 
the Book of God. The love of a mother, of a father, 
of brother and sister, of wife and husband, of friends, 
of nature, of beauty, of right, this is the richest, 
noblest, divinest part of man. All that is good in 
human history, all that ameliorates, and hallows, and 
sanctifies the life of to-day, all that presages the final 
emancipation of humanity from the slavery of igno- 
rance, of sin, and of hate, is an outgrowth and devel- 
opment of pure and holy love. 

All the love that manifests itself in human hearts 
is simply the overflow of the love of the divine 
Heart. This human love must have a fountain 
somewhere, it must have a source. It springs from 
the inexhaustible depths of the divine nature. Love 
in man, the effect, argues love in God, the cause. 
Love in the being produced necessitates love in 
the being producing. The love that beautifies, en- 
nobles, and spiritualizes our life had its origin in the 

286 Christian Manliness. 

immeasurable tides of love that perpetually flow in 
the ocean of the divine nature. Love in God, like 
every other quality, has a grandeur, a scope, a 
power, far beyond the measure of our thought. He 
is infinite; so is his love, so is his justice, so is his 
wisdom, so is his holiness. 

In this infinite and almighty love of God, resides 
the sure hope of immortality. Human love seeks 
the highest welfare of its objects. The purer, the 
holier, the more unselfish a mother's love, the more 
hopefully, patientlv and continuously does she seek 
the highest good of her children. Love in man is 
imperfect ; in God it is perfect. In man it is nar- 
row ; in God it is boundless. In man it is often 
unwise and capricious; in God it is always just and 
wise. If an intelligent and pure human love seeks 
the highest welfare of the beloved object, will not 
the infinitely pure and intelligent love of God seek 
the highest welfare of his children? What is our 
highest welfare : extinction, or immortal life ? There 
is but one answer to that question. The highest 
welfare of man demands immortality ; another and 
a higher sphere of being, in which all his facul- 
ties shall have a full fruition and a perfect culture. 
If the strong and unwasting love of God is not a 
dream and a fiction, the soul shall have such a 

Let us bring these separate lights together, and 
behold how doubt, and fear, and darkness flee 
away. The reasonableness of the Christian doc- 
trine of a future life is seen in the light of the two 

The Reasonableness of Immortality. 287 

scientific doctrines of the indestructibility of mat- 
ter and the conservation of energy; for if matter 
and force be imperishable, why not mind? It is 
seen in the luminous and creative hours of intel- 
lectual and moral life, hours in which the soul 
seems to take wings and fly far above the noise, and 
strife, and tumult of time ; it is seen in the pro- 
phetic intimations of conscience, pointing onward 
to a future state of righteous retribution ; it is seen 
in the universality of the belief in a future life 
among both civilized and savage men, in ancient 
and modern times; it is seen in the longings of the 
noblest natures after a more congenial culture and 
a more consummate perfection ; it is seen in the in- 
creased fervor with which men desire immortality 
as they become more highly and finely developed ; 
it is seen in the satisfaction and certainty with 
which the soul regards a future life in its purest, 
most unselfish, and most unworldly hours ; it is seen 
in the glory, and magnificence, and spirituality of 
the attributes of man's nature; above all, it is seen 
in the infinite love of the intelligent Author of the 
universe — a love strong, wise, and patient enough to 
rescue us from extinction not only, but to enthrone 
us with the principalities, and powers, and domin- 
ions of the heavenly places. 

Ten or twelve years ago, when spending a sum. 
mer in the mountains of West Virginia, I enjoyed, 
in company with a warmly appreciative friend, 
since a devoted missionary of our Church in India, 
the most glorious sunset of my life. One moment 

288 Christian Manliness. 

the light, fleecy, snow-like clouds seemed to be rest- 
ing on the tops of the trees on the distant mount- 
ains, and then again they were all aflame with the 
reflected glories of the fast-sinking sun, shining like 
a ball of burnished gold, fresh from the hand of 
God. As we stood there together, silently drinking 
in the solemn inspiration of the scene, the sun went 
down, but not out. Its light dawned upon another 
hemisphere. Our horizon was necessarily a narrow, 
circumscribed one, and hence it seemed to us as 
though it had disappeared forever. As God and 
the angels saw it, it poured its grateful flood of 
light and heat on the other half of the globe. It 
was night with us ; it was day-dawn with them. 
So is it with the pure souls we have loved. There 
is sometimes a solemn beauty in their dying, which 
may be likened to the lingering glories of the set- 
ting sun. Owing to our narrow intellectual and 
moral horizon, it may appear to us that the light 
and love of these souls have been quenched forever. 
Not so. They just begin to live. It is night with 
us ; it is day-dawn with them. They rise into the 
Eternal Presence, they rejoice in the beatific vision, 
they are enfranchised forever with all the dignities, 
privileges, and immunities of the skies. 

"There are no dead. 
Tis true, many of them are gone ; 
Singly they came, singly they departed; 
When their work was done, they lay down to sleep — 
But never one haih died ; 
Forms may change, but spirit is immortal." 

The Christian Heaven. 289 


And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes ; and there 
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall 
there be any more pain ; for the former things are passed away. — 
Rev. 21. 24. 

And there shall be no more curse-, but the throne of God and 
of the Lamb shall be in it ; and hjs servants shall serve him • and 
they shall see his face ; and his name shall be in their foreheads. — 
Rev. 22. 3, 4. 

NEXT to the great truth of the existence of God, 
and the moral character of God, the fundamental 
and far-reaching teaching of the Christian religion 
is that there is a future immortal life for holy souls. 
In all its generations, in all its struggles, in all its 
sins, and in all its sorrows, the human race has been 
supported and directed by the vast, solemn, glowing 
hope that goodness and purity, love and duty, are 
not born to die ; that they shall survive the dreaded 
catastrophe of death, and emerge in great power 
and splendor in the eternal world. As from the 
overhanging clouds come the grateful showers that 
refresh and revive the parched earth, so from this 
hope, of a supreme, ample, and perfect life beyond, 
come all the glorious influences and inspirations 
that quicken and strengthen men amid the wastes 
and losses, the pain and struggles, of the life that 
now is. One of the soul's native and ineradicable 
beliefs is that " earth has no sorrow that heaven 

290 Christian Manliness, 

cannot heal." We feel instinctively that under the 
reign of a perfectly righteous God, to whose power 
there are no ascertainable limits, justice must finally 
be done. We know that justice is not always com- 
pletely done so far as the experiences, purposes, 
and issues of this present life are concerned ; and to 
a moral mind the conclusion is short, sharp, and 
irresistible, that there is another and higher life 
where the ways of God will be manifested as the 
ways of love, equity, and truth. 

This expectation of heaven has been universal. 
The poor Indian, whose mind had not been tutored 
by science or literature, aspired to a humble heaven 
where his faithful dog should bear him company. 
The ancient Greek had his fair Elysian fields and 
his bright islands of the blest. The rude Scan- 
dinavian dreamed of a green paradise amid the 
wastes. The mystic and contemplative Hindoo 
yearns after the deep peace and unbroken rest of 
the Nirvana. All nations have pictured to them- 
selves beyond the grave, according to the order of 
their own genius, some 

" Island valley of Avilion, 
Where falls not hail or rain, or any snow, 
Nor ever wind blows loudly." 

The text suggests for our theme the Christian 
heaven. First, the Christian revelation of heaven 
is remarkable for its silent suggestiveness, its wise 
reticence, its noble concealment and reserve. " It 
doth not yet appear what we shall be," ought to be 
the motto of all who seek to study and understand 

The Christian Heaven. 29 1 

the really Christian revelation of heaven. What 
we are not taught in the Scriptures concerning the 
life of the blessed hereafter is quite as significant, 
quite as luring to the imagination, and quite as 
prophetic to the soul, as what is made known to 
us. Many questions may be started about heaven 
to which the Scriptures furnish no clear, decisive, 
or adequate reply. Where is heaven ? And there 
is no answer in the Bible of the Christian. What 
is heaven ? And there is no answer. What organ- 
izations, if any, do spirits have ? And there is no 
definite answer. * What are the employments, the 
disciplines, the studies, the activities, the various 
spiritual gymnasia of heaven ? There is no answer. 
What is the mode of the life of departed spirits? 
What means of locomotion are theirs? How do 
they acquire knowledge? By observation, percep- 
tion, -study, reflection, and reasoning, or by the 
quick flash of unerring intuition, by swift, piercing 
insight ? Are the relationships of earth carried on 
beyond ? What is the meaning of such words as 
these: " In heaven they neither marry nor are given 
in marriage, but all are as the angels of God?" 
Does the child remain a child ? And many a mother 
yearns for an answer. Do varieties of temperament 
still obtain ? Is truth over yonder cut into so many 
regulation blocks, all alike, or is it as we find it 
here, touched, colored, modified, by various experi- 
ences, temperaments, and dispositions? These and 
many like questions are unanswered in the Chris- 
tian revelation of heaven. Much is told us, but 

292 Christian Ma?diness. 

much is left for the free play of our faculty, for the 
wistful yearning of the imagination ; much is left 
for the joyous surprise of actual discovery when we 
enter upon its high and glorious fruitions. 

We will each one of us find something- in 
heaven which we do not expect. There is that 
about the disclosure of heaven in the New Testa- 
ment which we find in the character of some men 
and women — namely, a noble reticence, a quiet, sig- 
nificant, attractive reserve. I do not like people 
that are shallow ; I do not like people who are as shal- 
low as meadow pools that children can bale out in an 
afternoon at play ; I do not like people who, after 
you have seen them two or three times, you know 
all there is to them and in them, and you can tell 
precisely what kind of a life they have lived. I like 
to meet men and women that are deep and reticent, 
and are always suggesting to me how great they 
might be under other circumstances; how they 
would suffer and be strong, what they might do in 
emergencies, and through what emergencies they 
may have passed. I like to meet people that are 
reserved occasionally. And I am glad that there is 
enough in heaven to perpetually lure us, and draw us 
forth, and charm us. Such reticences never cease to 
interest us, we are perpetually drawn toward them. 

It is better for us, doubtless, that heaven is thus 
left surrounded by a tender and vague mystery. If 
a full and immediate revelation were made to us, I 
have no doubt that we would become dissatisfied 
with our present world and life, and our present 

The Christian Heaven. 293 

mode of discipline. We would abandon, or, at 
least, neglect, the work God has given us to do. 
The effect on children of the anticipation of some 
great joy varies. Have you ever studied it? Have 
you ever opened out the contents of a joy to the 
child? If you fix a day for it, it will not study 
much ; it likes to count up the time ; it enjoys wait- 
ing and seeing how long it will be, and running and 
asking questions ; but it does not study much. But 
you leave it vague, indefinite, undefined ; you tell a 
child that if it studies well, some great, rich joy 
will be given it, and never tell what the contents of 
that joy are, or when the day will come that shall 
unfold it, and it will study. So is it with us ; if all 
the contents of heaven should be revealed to us we 
would be very listless, we would be asking questions 
all the time, we would neglect the work we are now 
given to do, we would be always wishing for that 
higher life to be given us, for I take it that, as God 
and the angels see us, we are about as foolish a 
family of children as could well be imagined. 

As it is, ample room is left for the free exercise 
of the imagination and of the affections. More 
than that : the canvas is furnished us ; the pigment, 
the palette, and the brush are given us, and we can 
paint each his own picture of that fair and radiant 
world, always remembering that the reality will far 
surpass our noblest hopes, our most delicate fancies, 
our finest conceptions, our most gorgeous creations. 
When once we see heaven, we will be willing that 
all our pictures of heaven shall fade and die. 

294 .Christian Manliness. 

Second, Heaven, as it is disclosed to us in the 
word of God, is free from all elements and sources 
of disturbance, disquiet, pain, struggle, and sin. 

This life is a life of growth, a life of development 
by growth, and, therefore, necessarily a life of dis- 
turbance, of disquietude, of imperfections, of pain- 
bearing elements. All these are excluded from 
heaven. Did you ever take your Bible, especially 
the New Testament, and try to think about heaven, 
and find out how many " nos " and " nots " are used 
to describe it ? There are a great many of them. 
There shall be " no night in heaven ; " there shall 
be " no sun or moon ; " there shall be " no more 
curse ; " there shall be " no abominations ; " there 
shall be " no more hunger or thirst ; " there shall 
be " no sorrow ; " there shall be no crying ; " there 
shall be " no more pain ; " there shall be " no more 
death." " The former things are all passed away." 

Consider now some of the disturbing elements 
that will be absent from the heavenly life. All that 
we mean by ignorance — and we mean a great deal 
by it — will not be in heaven. There will be growth, 
elevation, development there, but no ignorance that 
costs, no ignorance that wastes. There will be no 
poverty there. Disease — alas ! what disturbances 
and inquietude that causes here ; pain — that vast, 
undiscovered mystery ; sorrow of the heart — how 
much there is of it in this world ; suffering of the 
mind, struggle, loneliness, temptation, and, waiting 
for us all, yonder in ambush, death ! Now, if all 
these elements of evil, all these elements of pain, 

The Christian Heaven* 295 

all these elements of perturbation were taken out 
of this world, what a different world it would be ! 
I see I wrote here in pencil, in looking over these 
notes before coming in, " What a glorious world it 
would be with no ignorance, no poverty, no disease, 
no pain, no sorrow of heart, no suffering of the f 
mind, no temptation, no death ! " This is a radi- 
antly beautiful world God has made for us, my 
friends. What skies there are over our heads ; what 
glorious star-lit nights ; what green fields are on the 
face of the earth ; what mighty seas; what fragrant 
flowers ; what singing birds ! O what a world 
this would be without ignorance, or poverty, or dis- 
ease, or pain, or temptation, or heart-sorrow, or 
mind-anguish, or the chilling dread of death ! Do 
we realize all that is involved in a life free from 
these elements? Have you ever, weary of strife, 
discouraged with yourself, discouraged with others, 
— have you ever closed your eyes and repeated over 
and over again, until sweet peace came, these words : 
" For the former things are passed away, for the 
former things are passed away, for the former things 
are passed away?" 

, The revealed positive elements of the heavenly 
life combine to make it eminently spiritual, rational, 
and attractive, and to crown it with ineffable honor 
and glory. Purity is the first distinctive heritage 
of those who enter this heavenly life. The purity 
of heaven may be described in two ways : First, 
negatively. So it is described to us in the word 
of God : " There shall in no wise enter into it any 

296 Christian Manliness. 

thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh 
abomination or maketh a lie ! " But there is an- 
other short sentence, very significant : " Without are 
dogs." Have you ever read an Oriental traveler's 
account of what this sentence means ; of how many 
dogs they have in these crowded cities of the Orient, 
and of how, for safety and cleanliness and health, 
at night all the dogs are left outside of the gate of 
the city? " Without are dogs." But it is given to 
us positively : " After this I beheld, and, lo, a great 
multitude, which no man could number, of all na- 
tions, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood 
before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed 
with white robes, and palms in their hands ; and 
cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our 
God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the 
Lamb." We know little of purity here, little either 
of its real nature, or of its perfection, or of its power, 
or of its final fruits, but we know enough to know 
that purity is heaven. There we shall be pure with- 
out fault, without spot, without pain, and, what is 
better, without peril. It is a fine and a deep saying 
of Confucius, the Chinese sage, that " Heaven means 

Another positive element in the life of heaven is 
triumphant joy in worship. We read often in the 
Revelation of John of great voices in heaven, and 
never are they so great or so many as when the 
joys of the redeemed are described. " And a voice 
came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all 
ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small 

The Christian Heaven. 297 

and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a 
great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, 
and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, 
Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." 
I take it that they must have something like con- 
gregational singing in heaven ! In the fifteenth 
chapter of Revelation, second and third verses, we 
read as follows : " And I saw as it were a sea of 
glass mingled with fire : and them that had gotten 
the victory over the beast, and over his image, 
and over his mark, and over the number of his 
name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of 
God. And they sing the song of Moses the serv- 
ant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great 
and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty ; 
just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." 
And here is the most magnificent description of 
singing, or joy in worship in heaven, to be found 
within the lids of the great book: "And I beheld, 
and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four 
beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb 
as it had4>een slain, having seven horns and seven 
eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth 
into all the earth. And he came and took the book 
out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts 
and four and twenty elders fell down before the 
Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden 
vials full of odor, which are the prayers of saints. 
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy 
to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: 

298 Christian Manliness. 

for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God 
by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and 
people, and nation ; and hast made us unto our God 
kings and priests : and we shall reign on the earth. 
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels 
round about the throne, and the beasts, and the eld- 
ers : and the number of them was ten thousand times 
ten thousand, and thousands of thousands ; saying 
with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was 
slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and 
strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And 
every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, 
and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and 
all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and 
honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sit- 
teth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever 
and forever." 

These are mere glimpses, intimations, tokens, 
poetic symbols of heaven, but they are such glow- 
ing poetic symbols of heaven as would have de- 
lighted the imaginations of Shakespeare or of Milton. 
They describe the mighty joy of the redeemed, 
enfranchised, empowered and worshiping spirits of 
heaven. We were made for joy. We were made 
for the highest joy, and the highest joy springs from 
the spontaneous exercise of our highest faculties. 
The keen delight and rapture that we feel in the 
presence of something great, vast, sublime, is, I sup- 
pose, nearly akin to the feeling that we must have in 
heaven, not once, but perpetually. Jean Paul 
Richter says that it is the office of music to dilate 

The Christian Heaven. 299 

our souls to their full capacity for the infinite. I 
shall never forget the first time I saw the sea, lands- 
man as I was ; being brought up in a portion of the 
country where they even did not have a river. 
When in July, 1 877, about seven o'clock in the even- 
ing, I gazed for the first time upon the waste of 
waters on the coast of Massachusetts, my heart was 
dilated to its full capacity for the infinite. I almost 
forgot the house to which I was going, and I was 
indifferent to whether I ever reached it. I did not 
sleep at all that night. I am glad I did not ; I am 
glad I was young enough, foolish enough, enthusi- 
astic enough, sentimental enough, to lie awake all 
night and listen to the moan and murmur of the 
mighty sea. I am glad that I hunted all the poets 
through, and re-read with a fresh joy all they had 
ever said about the sea. I am glad that I seemed 
almost to have no special use for the gross earth for 
a day or two. I never stepped more light and free. 
I take it that there are oceans and mountains, or 
those things which in our growth will fulfill the func- 
tions or offices of oceans, and mountains, and Niag- 
aras, in heaven. If God could make a few on this 
earth, for our present growth and joy, he can make 
a great many for our everlasting growth in heaven. 
The life of heaven is dignified by noble and ex- 
alted service. The heavenly life is not to be one of 
inglorious ease or of rapt contemplation. We know 
not the nature or the manifoldness of the activities 
of the upper world, but we do know that high and 

holy service shall be appointed us. " Therefore are 

300 Christian Manliness. 

they before the throne, and serve him day and night 
in his temple ; and he that sitteth on the throne 
shall dwell among them." "And there shall be no 
more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb 
shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him." 

These passages teach that we are to have work in 
heaven ; that we are not to be aristocratic loung- 
ers there, like the sons of an entailed nobility. They 
are mistaken who suppose that the heavenly world 
is one of idle dreaminess and delicious languor. 
This work is to be unselfish. You know here we 
all work centripetally ; we like to work so as to have 
every thing run. toward ourselves. There the Book 
says we shall serve HIM. The blessedness of all 
work is to be found in the extinction of self. Our 
work there is to be done amid associations and sur- 
roundings of the highest order and of the noblest 
character. " Before the throne ;" "In his temple ;" 
" He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among 
them." This work is to be constant, tireless, and 
unfatiguing. " They serve him day and night ;" 
" There is no night there." They never need to 
rest, and that is the reason they have no night. 
Here we become weary, fatigued, exhausted. We 
need to go in the repair shop at least eight hours 
out of every twenty-four. Here we mix foreign 
and corrosive elements with our work, as fear, envy, 
ambition, worry, anxiety, apprehensiveness. We 
never do our best work when we are depressed by 
fear, cankered with anxiety, corroded by envy, nar- 
rowed or dwarfed with the secular and worldly 

The Christian Heaven. 301 

spirit. We do our best work when we are free from 
all these things. Have you ever gone into a great 
machine shop, with a handful of small steel filings, 
and when not observed dropped a few of them on 
any wheel ? If so, no matter how large the wheel, 
or how rapid in its revolution, there was a creaking, 
gritting, grating sound, that betokened a sharp fric- 
tion, no matter how small the particles may have 
been. There will be no steel filings on the wheels 
of our industry over there ! We will work without 
fear ; we will w r ork without envy ; we will work 
without anxiety ; we will work without fretting ; we 
will work without malice ; we will work without 
wishing to push out and crowd down the man who 
stands next to us in the ranks of life. 

The crowning glory of heaven is the open vision 
of God. All Scripture teaching concerning the future 
life takes its prevailing color, is toned and deter- 
mined by the thought that at last we shall see God. 
Job comforts and strengthens himself by this 
thought amid the darkness and pain and suffering 
of which he was the struggling and bewildered vic- 
tim: " Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes 
shall behold, and not another." So the Psalmist: 
" As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness : 
I will be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness." 
The prophet Isaiah, in speaking of the secure and 
satisfying heritage of the righteous, says that " bread 
shall be given him ; his waters shall be sure. Thine 
eyes shall see the King in his beauty : they shall 
behold the land that is very far off." " And they 

302 Christian Manliness. 

shall see his face, and his name shall be in their 

The yearning to see God, the longing and pas- 
sionate desire to behold the face of our Father, is 
the deepest and strongest and most abiding of hu- 
man hearts and human lives. " O Lord, I beseech 
thee, show me thy glory,"was the passionate prayer 
of Moses. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? 
and there is none on earth whom I desire beside 
thee." "As the hart panteth after the water- 
brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God : 
when shall I come and appear before God ? " So 
Job cried in 'the midst of his utter desolation and 
sharp agony: "O that I knew where I might find 
him ! that I might come even to his seat ! I would 
order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with 

This is the crown and summit of heaven's glory: 
that we shall see his face, and that his name shall 
be written in our foreheads. Whatever we seek, 
\ye shall find it all in God — knowledge, forgiveness, 
purity, light, love, inspiration, and work. 

My friends, the years do not lag; they are not 
heavy-footed ; they are hurrying us onward, home- 
ward, and heavenward. God is surely bringing us 
to himself, though not by paths of our own order- 
ing, not by ways of our own choosing. Sometimes 
by the radiant, glorious, sun-lit mount ; sometimes 
by the damp, chill, mist-covered valley; sometimes 
by flowery vales and green fields, amjd the babbling 

The Christian Heaven. 303 

of cooling water-brooks; sometimes in a dry and 
thirsty land where no water is ; but still it is not 
the hand of a stranger, it is our Father's hand that 
leads us home. We walk with doubting, uncertain, 
unsteady feet, we slip and fall, we wander from the 
way, and are like lost sheep upon the mountains ; we 
sin, and suffer, and repent, and sin again. " Mercy 
would long ago have been wearied out if mercy 
were a human thing," but still we hope and still we 
are safe, because the eternal God is our refuge, and 
underneath us are the everlasting arms. 

" My feet are worn and weary with the march 
Over the rough road and up the steep hill-side ; 

O city of our God, I fain would see 

Thy pastures green, where peaceful waters glide! 

" My eyes are weary looking at the sin, 

Impiety, and scorn upon the earth ; 
O city of our God, within thy walls 

All — all are clothed again with thy new birth. 

" My heart is weary of its own deep sin — 

Sinning, repenting, sinning still again ; 
When shall my soul thy glorious presence feel, 

And find, dear Saviour, it is free from stain ? 

"Patience, poor soul ! the Saviour's feet were worn, 
The Saviour's heart and head were weary too ; 

His garments stained and travel-worn and old, 
His vision blinded with a pitying dew. 

" Love thou the path of sorrows that he trod ; 

Toil on, and wait in patience for thy rest ; 
O city of our God ! we soon shall see 

Thy glorious walls— home of the loved and blest." 




Rev. John M. Bam ford. 


18 illustrations. 12mo. Cloth. 
Price 80 Cents e 

John Bamford is working along the same line as Mark Guy Pearse, and is 
doing a good work for English Methodism— the work of stirring up indifferent 
or backsliding Christians and encouraging the despondent. In this volume, 
which is the ablest, especially from the literary stand-point, in his entire list, 
he has appealed to class-leaders in particular to keep their vows, work out the 
plan under which they hold their appointments, and bless tnemselves in help- 
ing to keep alive the religious zeal of their fellow members. The story was 
written for English readers, whose system of church work is slightly different 
from our own, but it needs no alteration or interpretation to fit our own case. 
It is a powerful plea to those who almost "don't believe in class-meetings " 
and all that. As a story it is intensely entertaining. It brings together a 
group of characters whom it is a delight to meet. We commend the book to 
our class-leaders and to all Christian people who feel that they ought to be do- 
ing a little more than they are at present doing for the Master.— Northern 
Christian Advocate. 

A tender, cheery, breezy book.— Methodist Recorder. 

Comes before us with delightful freshness.— Methodist Times. 


18 illustrations. 12mo. Cloth. 
Price 80 Cents. 

Those who have read Elias Power, of Ease-in-Zion, will know that John 
Conscience will be worth buying and worth reading, and worth lending to a 
friend who may not be able to buy one. Read it, and you will pray for a re- 
vival of old-time honesty, purity, and faithfulness. 

Fresh and bracing. . . . One of the best books that could be placed in the 
hands of a young man entering on business.— Tixe Christian. 


17 illustrations. 12mo. Cloth. 

Price 80 Cents. 

We know not who need to read it most— preachers or people. Perhaps 
if the pastor buys it first he will want to introduce it, and if the layman gets 
It first he will see that his pastor has it.— Michigan Cliristian Advocate. 

Calculated to fire the heart of the sincere and to rebuke the formal and 
lukewarm.— Sword and Trowel. 

HUNT & EATON, 805 Broadway, New York. 


BY — 

Mark Guy Pearse. 


Illustrated. 12mo. 

Cloth 80 Cents. 

Paper 25 Cents. 


Square 16 mo. 

Cloth 50 Cents. 

Paper 25 Cents. 


Illustrated. 12mo. 

Cloth....... 80 Cents. 

Paper 25 Cents. 

There is fascination in all the titles that Mark Guy Pearse selects for his 
books ; they are so quaint, and yet so direct.— Northern Christian Advocate. 



Cloth , 50 Cents. 

Eleven delightful meditations make up this book. They are for hours of 
quiet devotion. There is nothing controversial in them. The peculiarities of 
the author's belief in holiness appear, but only in such shape as to call for per- 
fect trust by the sweetness of his illustrations. The chapters on " Conse- 
crated and Transformed," and "Trust the Secret of Rest" are worthy of 
frequent reading and remembrance.— Christian Union. 

HUNT & EATON, Publishers, 805 Broadway, N. Y. 

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